Friday, July 03, 2020

[Back to Keto]

Disclaimer: I'm not being paid for this, and I'm not promoting diet culture, especially the body-shaming aspects. My decision to return to the keto diet is my own decision based on the fact that I straight up felt better when I was on it, and frankly, I've been feeling like crap for months, though stress is definitely a factor. The fact that I'm carrying extra weight around due to my cortisol levels being nutso isn't helping matters either. 

So I've made a choice to go back to the keto diet recently. I'm not fully on it yet, as I've got some carbs in the house that need eating, and I needed something to simplify my meals because, not only am I working full time (thankfully from home until the pandemic is over, but there's been a lot of overtime, so even taking out commute time means I'm exhausted), I'm starting my MLIS degree this fall. I'm already prone to skipping meals because I can't be bothered when things are hectic at work, and when I do this, I end up sugar-crashing and absolutely miserable. And I'll probably adjust from last time by having a carb-friendly month after every three months or so to keep my body from over-adjusting (which happened last time with stressing my body too much with too much heavy exercise).

Enter Keto Chow. Have you seen the commercials? Cute, cheesy, and effective,

Since the claim is that they are true meal replacement shakes, and I can get at least some of the bulk bags on Amazon and use my points to cut down on how much they cost me out of pocket, I thought I'd give them a try, and it might actually cost me less than making all my meals from scratch if I handle the timing right.

I ordered the sample pack that comes with the shaker bottle (I really recommend it, by the way. It's more effective at shaking than my own bottles at home, as I tried first without one and had a mess to clean up and had powder stuck at the bottom) direct from the company. I also bought a bulk bag of salted caramel flavor from Amazon, since I figured it'd be a safe one to count on liking. 

So far, of the two flavors I've tried, they're two for two. Salted caramel is pretty good, maybe 3.5 or 4 out of 5 [Edit: I swapped out butter for cream on 7/7, and suddenly it was the nectar of the gods--exactly how I imagined butterbeer would taste!], and snickerdoodle? 5 out of 5, no debate! I wish I had more, but I'll have to wait a bit... I've got to watch my budget and finish my other big bag first. And they really do keep me full for several hours, no crashes, no drops in my electrolytes. I do kind of want something solid to eat with it, but that's habit. If all else fails, I can always heat up a sausage patty to eat at the same time. 

Since you make them up the night before (it really does make a difference in taste, so don't ignore that advice), all you have to do in the morning is grab the bottle and drink. Easy-peasy. It took me three minutes to measure out cream and water, and to dump the packet/scoop into the bottle, shake it up, and refrigerate it. 

The question now is, will this be replacing breakfast alone, or will I order another bottle and flavor to replace lunch, so all I have to worry about (and buy groceries for) is dinner? One bag makes 21 shakes, so that's three weeks' worth of breakfast. The bag sounds expensive, but when you calculate how much you spend on meals (or at least what I do), it's not much more, and you can get discounts for subscribing. For me, it's a win. I just need to work out what flavors to cycle through, so the next four days should help me decide which I like best among the 6 original flavors. I'll try others in future months so I don't get tired of the same few flavors. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

[Life Updates]

Much has changed in my life since last I blogged regularly...

  • I'm no longer an English instructor, at least at present, nor have I been for about five years. I entry and audit for shipping invoices. Good times, many many invoices, mucho stress. But things are in place to eventually help me transition to something that better fits me as a person. First on the list: I enrolled today for my first class for my second master's degree, a masters in Library and Information Science. I'm pretty excited about it, but it's going to be a bit of a journey, since I'll be going to school while working full time, so I won't be able to take on a full load. We're looking at 3 years minimum, and 5-6 years altogether to get certified as a school librarian and high school English teacher. More job opportunities, but definitely some hurdles before we get there.

(At this rate, I should get to settle into the right career just a few years before retirement age... that is, if retirement is still an option for the average Millennial. It's not looking good on that front--let's be honest here.)

  • My sweet Sassy girl is now 11, fighting tumors in her digestive system, and generally starting to let it slip that's she, despite looking about 5, is indeed a senior dog, and meanwhile breaking my heart. She still has many more good days than bad, especially now we're treating the right causes of her upset stomach, and we're still hopeful prednisone and anti-nausea meds can shrink the tumors and calm her stomach enough to give her more time to be the happy girl she still is. Nevertheless...
  • My dad passed in November after a long, heart-breaking battle with pulmonary fibrosis and COPD. He long outlived his original prognosis, and the fact he no longer is suffering is a genuine comfort because it was such a terrible ordeal, but it was a terrible way to go, and seeing what I saw only strengthens my hatred toward cigarettes and lackadaisical attitudes toward COVID-19. I lost several other loved ones last year, and I have several other loved ones nearing the end of some of their long-term illness battles, so I'm anticipating being hit with more grief in the near-ish future. This further fuels my determination to move toward work that makes me feel like I'm doing something to make the world better for at least one person who needs help or comfort or beauty, not just to keep enough money in my bank account to not have to foreclose on my house. Life is short, and the time to do what's right is limited.
  • Mom's planning to move in with me later this year. That's going to be an adventure. Yes, indeed, especially after living on my own for the past 13 years. Definitely an adventure. Pray for us.
  • There is more going on (besides the pandemic and fighting for long overdue reform in justice and system racism, about which I'm long past the point of tiptoeing around on social media so as not to offend my family and acquaintances who don't recognize the racism or selfishness in themselves--it's time to wake up and listen to what people are living on a daily basis and realize your life isn't the same life someone else has to live just because you don't see it personally!), but I don't think it fits in a neat little bullet-point paragraph, so that can wait for another day, so for now, enjoy these two videos of Sassy from last summer, since we haven't gotten to take her to the lake for a swim yet this year because of the flooding: