So Far . . .

I know I haven't blogged in a while. And in fact, it looks like I haven't blogged since January 7th. I wish I can say that I apologize, but I needed the break and I have been busy with finishing the second book, Capital Consequences. I should be working right now, but I just had to document this moment in my life. I have been feeling somewhat guilty though, like I could've written this days or weeks ago if it would help someone else to keep pushing. So, for the year of 2018, so far . . .

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I'VE BEEN WITHOUT BREAD

This is a huuuuuge deal to me. I have been bread dependent since pfft, I don't know. And my dependency has been deeper since leaving college. You know, when you leave college, you get to pay attention a bit more to other things, things that turn you on, make you happy. You no longer have to focus on a term paper or assignment, just work. So, the only time I've been without bread was in January 2007 for two weeks. That makes me wanna laugh. I was doing the SBD and couldn't have it and the minute I could, I did. Big mistake. I can't ration bread, I don't think. I'm a keto-seeking junkie now, and I live on YouTube to find out who has better ideas than I do, because as a neophyte, I don't have many. So, almond and coconut flour have been my road dogs, but honestly, opening the bag of almond flour is not the best greeting smell if you ask me. Others may like it, but it smells and tastes a bit too corny for me. But it does pair well with dark chocolate! Coconut flour smells good and beachy, but it dries out batter or absorbs it, pretty quickly. So, I've found coconut to be kind of a nuisance, and it also makes everything taste like coconut, yeah, duh, but you kind of hope it doesn't or expect it to make everything taste better when you do use it by lending a delectable taste of coconut. Unfortunately, I don't find myself to pleased with this flour--but it's pretty! But muffins made of almond flour with dark chocolate chips are delicious.  I tried to make butter biscuits using almond flour and I ended up throwing out the whole batch. Some people's recipes are just not happening. And for that, you end up wasting a lot of ingredients at times. I also try to read the comments from people to see how it came out for them before proceeding. I could also buy a keto recipe book, but I haven't gotten that far, because I'm always on YouTube or the internet and it saves me from the bookstore or looking up books. Fathead recipes are supposed to be the thing, but I haven't been able to explore them yet. So, my friends, I wasn't craving a pizza, but I sure was curious to try to make one. I tried a cauliflower crust. It's . . . okay, and I love some parts that were firmer like real crust, but it got a little soggy, and I know you should also use hard cheese and at the moment, I didn't have it handy, just shredded. But, does the taste of cauliflower complement cheese? Ehhhhh, for some, yes. For me, so-so. Still, I trudged forward and tried cloud bread, also known as oopsie bread. It's made of egg and cream cheese. Bluh! With cheese on top, it was all just too overbearingly mushy on my tongue and after one-and-a-half slices, it made me wanna gag. It was all too soft, mushy. Then I tried the almond flour for it, and during the process, it felt promising, until it didn't. It was the most beautiful pizza of them all, the most identical to traditional-crust pizza. Now trust me, I don't bite into any of these foods with the expectation that they will or should taste like traditional recipes. Honestly, that's the refreshing part. You want to embrace a new taste and not be dependent on the tastes of processed goods or overly starchy and sugary foods. But, the almond flour tasted too corny and weird, despite the seasonings I used in the crust. Sigh. I was a big lover of pizza, and I'll just buy a new base this week and try it again. The key is that while I'm not craving these foods with a hard-on like I normally would be, it just feels good to know that if you want it, you can have it, and with satisfaction. I mean, you'll never want more than two slices of the pizza because these flours are very filling and that's the point. You don't feel ridiculously full or guilty afterwards. You feel like a human eating food that was originally made to keep you alive, not kill you. But when bread fails me, I don't really care because I'm so addicted to salads and veggies, then I'm cool. But you know, sometimes you want the old days back of being able to butter your sliced bread, eat a cracker with cream cheese, etc. Oh! I made biscottis for the first time, and they came out well. I spread chocolate on top but at that point, my chocolate had dried out and it didn't translate too well on the pics. But, they were satisfying after eating just one. I'd make them again!

I'VE BEEN WITHOUT CRACKERS

You gotta understand: I love tuna. I love, love, love tuna, and some things taste better with tuna, and a great cracker is one of them. I tried making a Cheez-it type cracker, because I love those things, just solo, not with a dip. I added a bit of flour to my cheese dough and it looked so promising, but I burned it after getting impatient and turning up the heat as they cooked in the oven. I wanted that hardened crunch, which I think is best achieved if you throw in dough made only of rolled-out cheese. Well, a few days ago, I made cheese crackers that were puffy and not bad tasting. I made my tuna the way Subway does and man! Well, the tuna was a foodgasm in itself, but the cheese complemented that and after about ten crackers, I was full and that was dinner. I look forward to playing around with making crackers, because you can always add a low-carb tasty dip and make it so delicious. Salivating. (Haven't had breakfast yet and I am hungry!!!)

I'VE BEEN WITHOUT CANDY

Okay, you're talking to someone who loved sugar so much, she could roll around in her bed in delight with something mad sweet in her mouth. But when you have to worry about diabetes, who has time for that? I loved my sweets, but diabetes runs in my family and my man knows that. So, do you think he would let me enjoy too much candy without making me feel irresponsible? I can't tell you how many times I got the preachy-toned warning. "Careful, Dawn. You don't wanna get diabetes." Come on, sir, neither do I, but have you tasted this sugar?! It's addictive! Aaaaand that's the point. Sugar is relentless and when you're a sugarhead like me, there ain't no walking away from your pimp with ease. He'll grab you by his sugar cane and snatch you back to his Cadillac like a two-dolla hoe. Well. Cravings for sugar, no? Craving for something that will seduce the sweet sensation of your tongue? You bet! I can only have dark chocolate and that soothes the itch. Although, I liked the nutrition facts of a box of strawberry pudding that I found in Whole Foods last night. It looked like what Valentines Day would taste like and tasted like it, too. I wanted to stab someone with my spoon it was so . . . satisfying. It leaves a less-than-desirable aftertaste in your mouth, but once you drink your water or brush your teeth, you're good. Also, Wegmans has that bulk section of heaven. If you want a candy sensation, I've found that a small serving of dried cherries and dried strawberries are sweet enough to please you, but careful! Only a handful, because you know dried fruit isn't really healthy, but you're just not opening a bag of Skittles and Starbursts, but you still can't feel too lofty. Too sweet is too sweet. Anyway, dark chocolate recipes convert to brownies, cake, cupcakes, and muffins--so basically, heaven! I tear up some dark chocolate. My favorite is eating dark chocolate chips with a side of blueberries. Can't stop, won't stop. Before, I hated dark chocolate, wasn't sweet enough. But now, oh yeah, it tastes just right.

I'VE BEEN WITHOUT JUICES

No regrets there, for sure. I like a Canada Dry ginger ale, and that was the only soda I would touch before this year. For me, it wasn't a real soda. But sugar is sugar and not water is not water. I used to drink juice in moderation as well or dilute it with ice. Now, it's been nothing but coffee, as usual, hot tea, and water! All unsweet, but when I want to spice it up, I'll request no more than three shots of a syrup flavor or nothing at all. Iced, hot, it doesn't matter, as long as it's not sedated with sugar. Yeah, lol, sedated. It's always good to lean on water anyway. A lot of people hate drinking coffee without sugar, but I was already a pro at that. Sometimes I go black, no cream, but I will always miss my five shots of vanilla, or pouring all the sweet coconut creamer in at my leisure. I use the coconut creamer here and there, but just not so much. Sometimes, a gal needs some spice in her coffee. Leave me alone!

I'VE BEEN WITH MOVIE THEATRE POPCORN

Yeahhhhh. *Sarcastic blink with a smug smile* You heard me. I enjoy my favorite carb snack in the world when I go to the movies. Are you kidding me? Live without this? Nope. Not gonna happen. I can probably eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! The smell, the taste, the taste, the-the taste! Butter and jalapeños. Yeah, back off, it ain't gonna happen. I can take a break for some weeks, but all in all, bring on the kernels! I like to shock my body with this treat. I don't wanna bore it. Salivating. Let's move on . . .

I'VE BEEN DOING MY SQUATS

Before 2018, I squatted alright. Squatted to sit. After one of my best friends proposed a thirty-day challenge, I decided to keep going, knowing during the challenge that I couldn't stop just because the challenge would. Unfortunately, I haven't done over 200 squats in one day yet, but I'm gonna try 300-350 one day. One day this week should be good, but we'll see. I like the side view of my butt and my legs feel hard like rocks, and when I'm stretched out in bed, I can't help but caress my leg. I needed more powerful legs. There's many stairs in my condo, so these things have come in handy. If you got any upper-body ideas, let me know. I can only think of wall pushups and haven't really given that my all yet.

I'VE BEEN INCREASING MY VEGETABLES

Always been a lover of vegetables. When I was a pescatarian for seven years, come on. But it was also easy to become carb-dependent back in that era, and soy-dependent as well. I love, love, love my green veggies, and green beans are my rock. But, for someone who was a French fry lover, but is used to being without that, I've done jicama. Jicama is cool and doesn't take long to cook. Love my mashed potatoes made only of cauliflower, oh man. Pair that with green beans and say no more. Think I'm gonna eat that tonight!

I'VE BEEN INCREASING MY SALAD INTAKE

In January, I had 25 salads, because they are so addicting! I have always been a chicken Caesar salad junkie, but not like this, only when I would decide to have a salad. I eat vegetarian salads, too. I love tuna salads as well, but Caesar is my man. That whole combination on the tongue is like--ahhhhhh. Yeah, I love my salads. Once you eat those, there's nothing much to say. Appetite gets satisfied quickly with salads. Problem is, when you eat too much sugar and carbs, why would you want a salad when you can have other stuff like Chinese food, pizza, whatever? And so, it's easy to ignore those little gems. But if I'm somewhere and know it's time to eat, the thought of my salads make me smile.

I'VE BROKEN UP WITH MY DELIVERY DRIVER

Ha-ha! Okay, well, as obsessed as I was with Chinese food, I haven't had any in almost a year. I loved pizza and Paisanos, man they had some good fries and burgers, but yeah, they had to go, too. Haven't called them up way before 2018 started. I guess you can say, if I "eat out" now, it's been Wegmans hot bar only, like two or three times, but only when starving and still adhering to my guidelines. I won't bend just because I'm outside or hungry. I will literally starve till I get home if I have to. I won't do the bad thing. I've had something from Whole Foods, once, still something I would make at home. And lastly, I've had one or two salads from Wendy's. That's it. No order-in, drive-thru, oh! My boyfriend took me to IHOP one morning for breakfast. I only ordered what I make at home. So, that was the only thing that kept me from crying from the thought of eating outside my kitchen. I've been a cooker since . . . for a super, long time. I love to cook! You hear me? My man is so grateful for my skills, and I know this is one of his favorite things about me. I love his feedback and criticism. When he chews and gives me that look to say, "Mmm, mmm, MMM! Dawn, (not 'baby,' this is serious, now) your cooking has gotten even better." Victory dance! I've never been much of a baker. Mainly because it's rigid and all those sweet goodies would fall to my thighs in no time. But, baking keto dishes has become more like a self-competitive experiment for me. I like to see what works and what doesn't. Again, it's more about finding out what I have at my disposal if I ever find myself needing these items and knowing I have some sort of mastery of it. It's been fun!

I'VE BEEN KEEPING A FOOD JOURNAL

Never done that before! Now that I do, I can't stop. That's how I was able to tell you how many salads I've had in January after doing a quick skim of my journal. It's messy, but it records my squats done for the day, the date, and my food/smoothie intake. I don't document what I drink because for me, it's irrelevant. For me, it's not so much about reflection right now, but more about knowing that I am tracking how I am treating myself. It puts me more in touch with physical wellness, versus it being a tool of judgment. I don't add expressions or anything to it. I write down the facts and leave it at that. I eat from the same groups, just on different days, time, and in different combinations. It makes me feel serious to bettering myself, more committed. 

LASTLY . . . 

Do I miss my old lifestyle? No. Not at all. My life motto has always been to do the opposite of the masses. Be the one who does the weird, because chances are it's the better choice. Do I sit around and discuss my eating habits with others? No, I don't pay it any attention. I just do my own thing and let others do theirs. All bodies react differently to foods, and where my struggles may be, ain't where it is for others. Am I happy to eat from the outer aisles of the grocery store than from the inner aisles? Yes! It takes less time to shop since a lot of my options are closed, my food bills is only driven up by expensive flour, but I don't need to buy it frequently. So, because I use the same ingredients to make new meals, I'm good to go. Needless to say, lettuce doesn't survive long in my house, and it's easier to buy meat in bulk. I love seeing what I can make better, and I love to see how closely I can create keto-inspired baked goods to regular baked items. My blood pressure is very impressive, my skin is nice and matted, a bit dry though with this winter air,  and my legs have been stronger than ever. Why would I wanna give this up? Right now, I've escaped from my pimp, and many hoes don't get to do that.