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.

Location Changes!

Change Requires Change!

I returned to the USA almost two weeks ago. I have lived in northern Scotland for the last 4 plus years. I also lived there from 1980 through May of 1993. I love that country and her people. I could write forever about my time there.

My first stop back in the States is Jacksonville, FL. The weather has been amazing. Correction, it has been freaking hot. We didn’t get over 80 degrees in NE Scotland where I lived. Here in Jax, it’s been close to 90 every day. Yikes.

The first thing I noticed, is how swollen I am. The humidity has not affected me the way I thought it would. I thought I would sweat a lot, and wouldn’t have to use my Blood Pressure diuretic. I was dead wrong. I have sweat when I’ve worked outside, but mostly I’ve been inside, and I am swelled up like the Michelin Man.

Now to be fair. I ate out a lot the first several days. I ate all the food I’ve missed for 4 years. I didn’t eat mass quantities of anything, but I did eat out a lot. And I had a lot of bread at lunch. I still haven’t been eating breakfast, and since my sister and brother in law, are eating Keto, our suppers have definitely been Keto.

But here’s what I have noticed. Most of the restaurants use a lot of sugar, and I’ve noted a great abundance of MSG. I am utterly astounded at how much of both of those substances are in everything. That breaks my heart.

I’ve grown accustomed to what I eat. Now I’m shopping at different places. I have to read every label, on every product.

I’ve also noticed whole rows of products with “Keto” or “Keto friendly” labels on the boxes. As I read the ingredients, I’m thinking, ‘Keto must mean something different over here.’ Many of the products are full of things I don’t want in my diet. I’m not necessarily against the idea. It’s capitalism. Companies see a market and go for it. Yay, creativity.

However, my whole eating plan is based on whole, natural foods, and all those rows of boxes strike me as counter productive. Like I said, I’m not against them. I just don’t want them.

Another thing that makes me sad, is, nearly all the meat in Scotland is grass fed, or free range. And that includes pork. All the pigs are raised outside. They have fresh air, they roam around for acres, they wallow. Cows eat grass, hay, and roam the green fields of my adopted homeland. I have never seen a feed lot in that country. They might exist, but I’ve never encountered one.

Even non organic vegetables have minimal pesticides and fertilizer. The European nations just have a better grasp of the connection between our diets and our well being. Sure, there are tons of pre packaged, highly processed cheap goodies. I’m just talking about meat, and fresh, as well as frozen produce.

The price of food has gone through the roof since I’ve been gone. Holy Smokes. Price increases are certainly one way of making sure humans eat less meat!

One thing I know for sure. Wherever I finally settle down, I will be growing as much of my produce as possible.

Anyway, I’ve had two weeks of free eating. It’s been fun to party, but now it’s back to the program. I’m honestly glad.

And hopefully, I’ll be back to staying better in touch.