Trying not to cheat-o on my keto

Roughly six weeks in to the ketogenic experiment, and I’m down about 9 pounds. If I could weigh myself now like I could a few months ago, I’d have a more accurate count, but for now that routine is off a little.

Having a food routine, meanwhile, has helped me stay on track.

I always bring a lunch to the office, and it’s inevitably this Creamy Chicken Casserole because it’s portioned out at an appropriate amount for a midday meal. For awhile dinner was always the keto lasagna pictured below left, but although it’s tasty — c’mon, look at all that cheese! — the repetition was beginning to sour me on it. So I was began to try new options. Some, like the other two below, were winners—tasty while still keeping macros (fats, proteins, carbs) in the right ratio.

Other experiments have not gone as well.

In my quest for something salty that could replace my beloved Triscuits, pretzels, Wheat Thins or tortilla chips, I’ve tried swaps like:

  • Seaweed chips, which tasted like the worst part of sushi (Technically, I tried a seaweed chip, singular, because I didn’t even finish it before giving up and throwing the container in the trash.)
  • Homemade cheese crisps, in which you bake a slice of cheese in a 350-degree oven until it’s melted and bubbly, then let it cool and harden into the shape you see below. Taste-wise, a slice of American cheese treated in this manner really did remind me of goldfish crackers … but they’re a pain to make, for little reward.

(My salty savior turned out to be dill pickles—as long as you pick a brand that doesn’t add sugar to the brine, there are negligible carbs to be had. And it turns out Trader Joe’s makes crunchy cheese crisps that are essentially better versions of what I tried to do above.)

And to help with any random sweet-tooth moments, I doctored up a homemade chocolate hazelnut spread, which is supposed to be like a Nutella. Grinding everything to a fine consistency was a burden on my blender, so I called it quits when it reached a pastelike consistency, rather than a creamy spread. Hey, a tablespoonful is a tablespoonful.

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