Maintaining an Eating Plan When Life Goes Nuts!

As some of you know, my life has recently turned upside down. I have moved back to the USA, and I’m retired (whatever that means). I’ve been staying with one of my Sisters, and Brothers in Law, in Florida. I am so grateful for all they have done to smooth my transition.

Someday, I’ll talk to you about how the decision to leave Scotland came about, and how hard it has been to say goodbye to all the people I love over there. But it’s not that time just yet.

One of the big things that has been both awesome, and troubling, has been the shocking changes in my eating habits, and to my taste buds, since my arrival back here.

First, I think the USA is the best place in the world to eat out. At least as far as flavor and quantity are concerned. My taste buds have been in heaven. I’ve eaten a lot of things since I’ve been back that I haven’t had in years. And I love it.

But there are a lot of things that have not been strictly, or even closely, Keto, in my diet since I’ve been back. I’m not complaining, I’m just being honest. I need to be honest with you, my faithful readers. But the only thing that has been a real problem, has been, bread.

Americans eat a lot of bread. It’s in nearly every meal. It comes as a kind of starter in many restaurants. And Mexican places, give you tortilla chips and salsa. Since it looks bad to eat the salsa with a spoon, I have eaten the chips.

Every single place I’ve eaten has been bread crazy. It’s kind of like potatoes are in Scotland. Everything has chips. Everything here has bread. I’ve eaten probably much more than I should.

I have avoided potatoes and sugar. I have had sweet potatoes once or twice a week, but first, I love them, and second, they are perfectly allowed on South Beach, which is what I’ve been doing more than strict Keto since I’ve been here.

Fortunately, my sister and her husband eat well. They have plenty of veggies, and those are organic. They eat grass fed, and free range meat and poultry. That really helps a lot.

But we’ve found my weakness. It’s a big one. And it’s about the sugar I just told you I’ve avoided. My favorite food in all the world, is BBQ. I loved smoked meat. I could eat it every day for a long long time. And I love the sauces. Sadly, most Memphis, and Kansas City sauces, which are my favorites, are loaded with sugar. In Scotland, I made my own, based on a Memphis style recipe, but it was made with erythritol so it was Keto friendly. But being honest, it doesn’t taste nearly as good as stuff made with sugar. Again, the problem is, I eat the sauce as a main dish. I heap it on. I love it. That’s not good. And I’ve had BBQ a few times. And I’m NOT sorry!

I guess my point in this post, is really confession. I’m eating well. But I have not been strictly Keto. I have been South Beach, Phase 2. And I’m ok with that. I’m still watching my Carbs, but I will be on the road, starting Thursday, for at least two months, and South Beach will be easier than Keto to focus on living a kind of camping lifestyle.

I haven’t gained weight the last month. That’s good. I’ve had some amazing food when we’ve eaten out. And I could eat chick fil A every single day. Yikes. I could. Their Spicy Chicken Sandwich hits all my taste bud buttons. And there is nothing Keto, or South Beach about that delicious nugget. But it sure does make me smile.

My cooler for the car on the road will have eggs for when I stop to cook breakfast or supper. It will also have some sliced chicken or ham, and peanut butter, with some Ezekiel bread, for eating quick lunches while driving. I’ve found Ezekiel sprouted grain bread to be the best thing for the road. It’s fairly South Beach appropriate, plus, it doesn’t taste that great, so I’m not tempted to over eat. Weird logic, but true.

I have pork rinds without MSG to eat as snacks. I have plenty of water, unsweetened iced tea, and coffee to keep my thirst quenched. When I do stop for fast food, once or twice a week, I’ll not have the bread. You can hold me accoutable. Just write and ask. I’ll tell you the truth.

One other change that’s pretty important. I’ve joined a gym. It’s a national chain, so I can work out in every town I plan to visit. I will work out at least three days a week to burn calories and stay limber. I’m way too old to worry about getting buff. I have a proud grandad body, and I don’t want to mess that up!

Are there things in your lifestyle that force compromises in your eating plan? Do you make adjustments, or just say, to heck with this diet? Use the comments section and let me know.

An Update Regarding Water Retention

I am finding things rather interesting at the moment. It’s only the 4th day since I renewed my real focus on Keto/South Beach. But I have already noticed some dramatic changes.

First, I haven’t been as hungry. That’s weird. I’ve been starving for several weeks. I had to start eating breakfast again about 6 weeks ago. Obviously, that has something to do with the sugar and wheat that had crept back into my diet. I look at my notes and see that I had donuts at least once a week. Not the half dozen or so that I used to have. But I would have 2 at a time. Sometimes twice a week. And it looks like I had a small frozen pizza once a week for several weeks. I wasn’t paying attention. In fact, I have one in my freezer now. It’s been there for a week, tempting me.

I just ate fat and protein the first two days. I had no vegetables. I paid a price for that. Do I need to go into it? Yesterday, I had broccoli and cauliflower, and I had a little bran. I will do similar today. Figure it out!

But the main thing I’ve noticed, has to do with the water retention I wrote about a couple weeks ago. It got to the point where I was taking my prescription diuretics 5 to 6 days a week. I was getting concerned. Every night, my legs were swollen to the point my socks were uncomfortable.

My refocus began Saturday. On Sunday, I started having a natural diuretic effect. That’s normal when you start any kind of diet. I was surprised it started so quickly. I can’t explain that yet. But I eliminated more water on Sunday and Monday, without the pills, than I usually do with them. Seriously. I’ve even had to get up three times each night to go to the toilet. And it has continued so far today.

I realize that’s a bit TMI, but it’s quite interesting. It makes me wonder how much of my recent weight gain has been water. And what caused it? Does sugar cause fluid retention? Does flour? Is it a combination of my blood pressure medication and sugar or flour? How much MSG has been in the frozen pre prepared meats I’ve been eating?

These questions are worth investigating. But right now I need to get over to the greenhouse and tend to my tomatoes and peppers. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you.

NOTE: I found it. I was just munching on some Pork Rinds, my favorite go to Keto snack, and there it was in the ingredient list, MSG. I threw them out. I had only eaten a few of these, but that explains so much. I have been eating those like they were going out of style. For the last three months I’ve had an individual serving bag of them nearly one a day. That’s a lot of MSG. My heart is broken, but the mystery is solved. Now I just have to figure out what I’ll do for snacks. I don’t like veggies for snacks. Thinking caps on.