Ahh Seattle! Can I still Stick to My Keto Lifestyle?

Seattle is a city that leaves you in awe. The region is rich in culture, the arts, music, and history. I arrive and my eye catches the magnificent cityscape, the diverse markets, and the exceptional restaurants. I’m here on business, and I’m taking the opportunity to explore the cuisine of the local area of Pioneer Square. Delis, specialty markets, international, and the delightfully quirky. So much to do and so little time to do it. I’m so excited. Are you ready to enjoy some food? Let’s go!

Sunday, my first day. Super Bowl. I’m not very enthused about the Super Bowl this year. I’m about to butt hurt some people out there, but who cares. I don’t like the Patriots, and I certainly do not care for Tom Brady. You can throw at me all the stats, and winning records this team has accomplished. I don’t care! To see them in the Super Bowl once again, seems boring to me. However, it’s a terrific fortune that during sporting events there are meal and drink deals that wouldn’t normally be offered. Nachos and a Margarita for $5. Sliders and a beer around $6. Appetizer sampler platter $10. Anything to draw the crowd to their establishment. Is it a Keto rich environment? NO!! I don’t eat chips so Nachos are out. I don’t eat bread so sliders are out. The appetizer platter is filled with fried foods. You guessed it. I don’t eat that either. Heck, beer is out! That one hurts. Don’t despair my friends. I’m a pro. You can order tasty keto food in a bar. Have them make the nachos without the chips (this works the best if they’re loaded nachos), and bring in your own fried pork rinds and eat it as a dip. Yummy! Have the sliders wrapped in lettuce instead of the bun. Most stuffed mushrooms are totally acceptable. If the chicken wings aren’t battered or breaded, eat all the chicken wings you want.

After settling in at the hotel, I decided to venture out and find me an ideal bar food location. I went to Target first and got snacks and necessities for the room – heavy cream, butter, mineral water, chocolate almond milk for my protein shakes and these great snack packs with salami, cheese, almonds and a hardboiled egg. Walking back, I decided to take a detour from my route to get closer to the waterfront. Well, one block down. I was on the hunt for a sports bar. Well, no luck. The streets of Seattle are quiet. Coffee houses, shops and delis line the street. Then I stumbled upon a restaurant that had the game playing in the bar. It was Happy Hour. Perfect! Off I go. I got seated at the bar, and was greeted by a very nice and rather handsome bartender named James. We hit it off right away. No, I wasn’t flirting. He hates the Patriots too. However, he wasn’t perfect. He’s an Oakland Raiders and USC fan. The name of this little find is All Water. They had $2.50 oysters. I’ve had no interest in trying oysters. They just look like snot in a shell. Now that I’m blogging, I must try things I wouldn’t normally. Oysters are keto friendly and the price is right for my food per diem. I order it. The little guy arrives. I’m nervous. I’m unsure. Ugh. I really don’t want to do this. I put some of the red wine vinegar concoction on it, squeezed some juicy lemon on it and slurped it right up like a pro. Eek. Not my thing. It was briny and slimy. It was positively tangy with vinegar and citrus. I don’t know. Maybe prepared differently? I can say now I’ve tried an oyster. Thank you world for getting me out of my comfort zone.

I then order the buffalo chicken wings. I can’t go wrong with that. Really?! I was wrong. The wings came to my seat with luscious buffalo sauce, crispy and quite large for wings. A side of carrots and celery accompanied by ranch dressing. I picked one up and discovered these are not wings but tenders. Ugh! Tenders are breaded! Crap! I should’ve turned them away. But I didn’t. I ate them anyway. Now, if they were bold and tangy as a typical wing is, I would be like whatever and not worry about it. They were bland. No tang. No spice. The ranch was even a bit boring. This meal isn’t worth doing something outside keto for sure. I’m human. I was into the game, drinking my Pinot, which happened to be the best thing I had all night. It was smooth, had a nice mouth feel, and was surprisingly fruity. However, I mindlessly ate the “wings” anyway. I still think this was a great place. I saw a table with the most amazing looking salmon plate, the truffle fries were a fragrant wonder and happy hour prices do give anyone pause. I need to be more careful. I need to ask questions. That’s what is responsible for me to stay on track. I recommend doing what is right for you. If you are following a keto lifestyle, then you know you must be aware. What would you do? Would you have eaten them anyway? Do you think I should’ve returned them? Let me know. I want to hear from you. Until tomorrow’s new food adventure, adieu.

Delicious Keto Breakfast at Bella Bru

I just have to say, that sometimes it isn’t always easy to eat out and find keto friendly menu items. So many restaurants use sugar in their recipes or soybean oil for cooking. No thank you. However, there are those times where you find a gem of a place that blows your socks off.

A co-worker and I decided to go out to breakfast. I didn’t want to eat at the the usual place, so I went on the Google hunt for best breakfast places in Natomas. Several options came up. My co-worker doesn’t eat keto food but is a little picky. We looked at the breakfast menu for Bella Bru. The menu wasn’t extensive but appeared to have some nice options. My co-worker was cautiously optimistic when he saw chorizo breakfast burrito. Bell Bru had me at crab omelet.

We arrive and there was hardly anyone there for 8:30am. We were seated immediately and asked what we would like drink. I wanted coffee and to my surprise, they have heavy cream. Yes, heavy cream. You can have that on keto. My coffee came in a huge mug, piping hot and deliciously bold in flavor. This was no diner coffee. We ordered exactly what caught our eye on the menu. Me, the crab omelet, no potatoes or toast, side of sliced tomatoes and bacon. Keto rocks people! My co-worker ordered the chorizo breakfast burrito. Service was great. The atmosphere was pleasant and clean. So far so good.

Our meals arrived and they looked amazing. The burrito is stuffed thick with chorizo and light on the potatoes. It came with a side of fresh salsa and guacamole. It’s hard to find a breakfast burrito that has more meat than filling. My co-worker was in 7th heaven. Even full to the gills, he kept eating.

My omelet was the same, jammed packed with fresh crab. It had melted Fontina cheese, spinach, onions and a tomato relish. Oh my Gosh!! It was so fantastic. The eggs were fluffy and not overcooked. The cheese was balanced and perfectly melted. That tomato relish was divine. My only complaint would be that there wasn’t enough of that relish. I couldn’t be more pleased. It was a wonderful dining experience.

My hat’s off to the wait staff and chefs of Bella Bru. I will be back. You can count on it.

Hey, if you’ve eaten at Bella Bru or have insights to my post, please send me your comments.

http://www.bellabrucafe.com/location/natomas/

 

Is Keto a Journey to Healthy?

KETO! Have you heard about it? Are you interested? Here’s my beginning.

Doesn’t It seem that more and more people are not happy with their bodies? Male and female. Being a woman, I can attest to the constant pressure of looking good. I come from the adage that men age gracefully and women just age. Why is that? I’ve seen plenty a man who looked older than their age and that’s far from graceful. However, I’ve seen men look really good for their age. It just seems there is more pressure to keep up our image. You have someone like Christy Brinkley who is 60 something and looks like she’s half her age. She claims it’s genetics and clean Vegan eating. OH, don’t forget exercise. How can I forget that?! It’s shoved down my throat with infomercials of exercise equipment and videos to change your body. The hype around cross fit, HITT and boot camps. I digress. Maybe that’s all true with Christy. Maybe she never shoots collagen or chemicals in her face or gone under the knife. Good for her! I on the other hand am not as lucky. I’ve struggled with my weight since the third grade. I was extremely active too and yet, that gosh darn scale gave me bad news day after day, year after year. I’ve gone from being really heavy to really thin. I can stand with the rest of the people out there that say, “I’ve tried it all and been there done that.” Haven’t we all heard that it’s our diet and our portions that make us gain/lose weight? Exercise more and eat less. Exercise less and eat even lesser than that. I know more people who have been on the dieting roller coaster than those who look fit and chiseled. I respect people who work hard on taking care of themselves. It’s important to take care of this temple (our body) that our Lord God has given us. Can I say this yelling without offending? WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BEEN SO HARD?!!!!!! Good grief. If I had every dollar that I spent on dieting gimmicks, gym memberships, exercise videos and equipment, I would have enough for retirement. Ok, maybe not that much but pretty darn close people. So what does a person do to lose weight and keep it off without eating dull, bland food, exercise until you collapse and spend every dollar in the bank? I honestly don’t think it exists. However, you can make changes and you have to find the right fit for you. Cliché? Yes, but it’s true. Since there isn’t any reason to write a drawn out, sad and pathetic past story of my insecurities over weight and bod image, here is my current story.

I’m 47 years old. Married with 2 teenage boys. I have a good job and even have a side business. I have great friends and my most precious friend of all is Jesus. Can’t do anything without Him. I’m active, no health issues, no aches and pains, my knees aren’t breaking down and my back isn’t messed up.  Overall, doing well and loving life. Except for one area. Can you guess what that is? You are too smart. Yes, it’s my body – my weight. I’ve tried to love my body. I don’t hate it as much as I used too. Thank God for that! Nevertheless, this nagging dislike for my body still lingers. Some days it doesn’t bother me. Then there are those days when you go to put something on for the day, and it feels tighter. I see rolls that I’m almost positive weren’t there the day before. Anyone picking up what I’m throwing down? Anyone?! Those are the days I wonder if I will ever be comfortable in my own skin, if I will be content and just be happy. The answer to that question for today is, no. I’m afraid if I become content I will give in and gain more weight. This is my thought process. This isn’t by any means to offend those who love themselves for who they are or what they look like. All power to you!! I wish I had that overcoming thought process over my own short sighted view of myself. For me, I want to get rid of the extra weight. I want to be in my golden years feeling light on my feet and fit as a fiddle. So I had to make a decision. What did I do? I did nothing. I couldn’t figure out what I needed. I had no clue what to do anymore. Maybe counseling. Maybe the waist trimmer I see pop up on Groupon. Another diet program! Nope, I couldn’t do it. I just refused to get sucked back into another diet/exercise scheme.

One day, while volunteering at my church café, this young lady asked me if we had heavy cream. She wanted a latte with heavy cream. My arties clogged up just hearing that. We didn’t have heavy cream but we had whole milk. She proceeds to tell me she needs the extra fat. This is a woman who was perfectly thin for her body and fit. I politely asked her why she needed the extra fat, I mean who wouldn’t. She said it was part of her keto lifestyle. Whaaaat?! I never heard of that. Keto? Inquiring minds wanted to know. The Keto lifestyle is one of high fat, moderate protein and very low carbs. Sounded like Atkins. I did the Atkins diest and lost some weight but I just craved bread too much. She ordered an Americano with a splash of whole milk and she went on her way. Never gave Keto another thought….until one day in Costco. My husband I were shopping and buying things we didn’t need (I know we aren’t the only ones who do that), and we saw this cookbook for the Ketogenics diet. BAM! It hit me in the head. That’s what the girl at the café was talking about. I grabbed the book, and was perusing the pages with awe and wonder. Ok, that’s a stretch, but I was pretty stoked to see bacon, avocado, eggs, red meat, fatty chicken, butter and so on. They even had Keto bread! I will talk about that another time. Not as good as you might hope. Anyway, my husband showed excitement that he can eat meat and fat and not cardboard and rice cakes. We decided right then and there we were going to buy the cookbook and change our lifestyle. It’s not cheap to change everything over to ketogenic friendly food. It cost us over $600 (this is what it cost us not that this would be the case for everyone) to switch out things like sugar with erythritol and Stevia glycerite; white flour with almond and coconut flour; soy sauce with coconut aminos. How about nutritional yeast? Do you know what that is? I hadn’t a clue. It’s hard to find (Amazon of course has it) and it’s not cheap. By the way, it’s a replacement for cheese if you are dairy sensitive or living the Vegan life. I like cheese better. I can have cheese on this diet. I don’t like calling it a diet. I refer to it as a new lifestyle of eating. My husband and I have enjoyed the yumminess of fatty ground beef, lamb, steaks, and bacon. This goes against so much brainwashing we’ve endured that saturated fats are bad for us. Well, when eaten with carbs and sugars it is bad for you. The point of this is to burn fat for energy instead of sugar. When you are so accustomed to eating refined sugars and flours, potatoes and fruit, eating heavier fat foods seems odd. I totally get it. The truth of the matter is, we don’t need any of that stuff. It doesn’t damage your heart; it won’t shut down our kidneys and it won’t turn your liver into a permanent storage room for fat. I’ve been eating the Keto way for almost a year. I’ve lost 25 pounds and all I do for exercise is 2 days of strength training for only a half hour and walking/running. This isn’t a quick weight loss plan. This is truly a lifestyle. If you choose to go this route, do your homework. Be prepared to change a lot of things in your eating habits. Get used to eating fatty foods and not freak out about it. It takes some getting used to, but I can honestly say, it’s well worth it. The journey to be continued. If you want to know more, please comment below or email me at whoisheidiblog@gmail.com.

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