Keto in a Camper
If you’ve been around awhile, you may know that earlier this year I started Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers was EXTREMELY good for me (especially in the beginning when I was really strict about it) because my biggest problems are 1) treating myself too often and 2) accountability. Weight Watchers provided SUPER easy daily accountability for myself, and also helped curb the “treat yo self” mentality. I was still able to “treat” myself and eat the foods I really love (pizza, mac n cheese, wine, creamer with my coffee, etc) but I was able to make myself make better choices elsewhere to balance out the indulgents. I lost almost 10 pounds those first few months!! Then I got lazy with it, and gained most of it back (ugh) I got back into WW but eventually hit a plateau. Joel had been trying to talk me into trying out the Ketogenic Diet for several months at this point, and I flat out refused. But finally caved after hitting my plateau and feeling very frustrated. (**I plan on getting back into WW after our vacation next month, so if you do WW and want to connect let me know!!)
So on July 30, we officially started our Keto Diet. We decided we would do Keto until Aug 31 to try it out. I’ll be really blunt with you, that first week was FREAKING hard. I’m pretty sure I was going through sugar/carb withdrawal. I had NO energy, I had headaches, usually woke feeling like I was starting to get sick, was extremely constipated (sorry, that’s probably TMI but it’s the truth), and I was crabby as hell! (Just ask Joel!) BUT, the following Sunday I weighed myself and I had lost weight! I was shocked (because I didn’t FEEL like I had lost weight) and super pleased. After the first week, it got a LOT easier. I started feeling more energized during the day (still not 100% but I feel a lot better than that first week!) and my headaches and cravings started easing, and I kept losing weight! We have been VERY strict about staying on point during this diet, except ONE day (which was totally my fault, I basically whined Joel into submission haha!)
But seriously, I’m super proud of us, we usually have serious commitment issues when it comes to stuff like this haha!! Overall looking back, we both agree that we felt the Ketogenic Diet taught us a lot, helped “reset” in a way, and provided decent results! (Meaning through the diet alone, not adding any additional activity to our daily routine, we both lost weight and felt better) This would NOT be a diet I would do for longer than a month at a time, because I find that I’m most successful on a lifestyle diet that has balance rather than completely depriving me of food I absolutely love. But that’s just me!
Since we felt fairly successful about the past 5 weeks on our diet, I wanted to share my tips for doing the KETOGENIC DIET in a CAMPER! *These tips can pretty much be applied to anyone doing the Keto diet though, even if your house isn’t on wheels (;
1) PLAN AHEAD
I can’t stress this enough. We had to get serious and do a LOT of planning for this, or else we never would’ve been able to keep on track! We planned out every.single.meal and every snack! It’s time consuming, but so worth it because it made it so easy for us to stay on track with this tricky diet! Staying below 18 carbs a day is HARD! Especially when the grocery store isn't really nearby and you have limited storage!
2) EXPLORE THE GROCERY STORE
After our first week of doing Keto, we were already over certain foods. So we headed to the grocery store and before doing our actual shopping, we just walked around ALL THE AISLES checking labels for net carbs. There were some things we were surprised about, and we found several items that we didn't realize were low carb, which helped us be able to be a little more creative with our meal planning. We also found neat low carb options (like mini pizzas in the frozen section that were only like 5 carbs each! And low carb snack bars in the health food section) some of which we really liked, some of which went straight into the garbage haha. But I’m so glad we took the time to just walk around and look at stuff, even though it was a little time consuming that day.
3) MEAL PREP
Yes, this meant that Sunday’s usually consisted in a large chunk of our day at the grocery store and then right after that beginning our meal prep. This helped make it easier on us during the week to not take forever to make dinner, but also was necessary because our fridge is SO SMALL! Sundays/Mondays our fridge was like a big game of tetris anytime you wanted to get something out. This also meant that I planned on having certain meals earlier in the week that consisted of the larger items in the fridge (like asparagus, zucchini noodles, etc) It’s all about thinking ahead!!
4) BATCH MAKE MEALS
Yup, this meant that sometimes we had the same meal twice in a week, but usually that doesn’t bother us. If I’m going to take the time to make something, it usually makes more sense to make enough for four instead of just the two of us (especially when making stuff in the crockpot or instant pot) So, we would either have whatever meal it was again that week, or I’d freeze it and we could have it the next week. Either way, this meant less cooking for me, less clean up later, less headache thinking of a million different meals to make, all while keeping it easy to stay on track!
5) OUR FAVORITE KETO FOODS
Now for the fun part, what we ate! We didn’t LOVE every single meal, but 99% of the time we felt full and satisfied. We just had to stick with it and keep trying different things!
-hard boiled eggs (made a dozen at a time in the instant pot)
-sugar free coffee creamer (I had to CONSIDERABLY downsize the amount of coffee creamer I use, but switching to a sugar free helped make my coffee drinkable!) A lot of people told us to just drink it black, or use something like heavy whipping cream, and we tried. But just couldn't haha.
-BACON- this was definitely the best part about this diet. We had bacon every single week!
-whisps - We got these at walmart and some different flavors on amazon. They are a nice substitute if you're just dying to have something chip-like. Plus they taste delicious. And yes we dipped them in cream cheese ! Dont judge! **We did get tired of these after a while though!
-avocados- lots and lots!
-breakfast for dinner- was a popular meal because it’s easy to leave out a lot of carbs and still feel full.
-zucchini noodles - zucchinis are really low carb, and we actually use these instead of noodles all the time, even not on Keto! We had zucchini noodles with alfredo and different meats most of the time, but we also had them with this low carb marinara sauce we found (that we used for pizza too!) and chicken meatballs.
-crack chicken - find the recipe HERE. This was one of our favorites of the new meals we tried. Easy and delicious, and it’s one of the meals that makes 4 servings so we always had enough for another meal!
-Extreme wellness wraps- these are the wraps we always use, and it just so happens they are very low carb so we got to continue using them on Keto! Sometimes we would split one, but usually we both could fit a whole one into our carb limit!
-fathead biscuits/buns/pizza - look up easy recipes on Pinterest, there's all different kinds, find what you like the best! Wish we would’ve tried them sooner!! Each time we made a version of fathead dough, it kept getting better and better. Just takes practice to get it right! The most important thing about fathead dough is: OVER GREASE YOUR PAN!!! Grease that pan a ton, then grease it some more (I used butter for the pizza, and our non-stick baking thing for the biscuits)
-steaks- Steaks and a veggie (like asparagus or broccoli) were another easy meal that we could make ahead of time if we had the grill going for other stuff already.
-burgers- either with the fathead rolls or bunless. Joel would grill up a bunch and they were great to have in the fridge for a quick lunch or dinner. Add cheese, mayo, lettuce, whatever else you want. (measure out the ketchup though! That was a hard one haha)