My Low Carb Frustration – and Food Diary 🙂


Keto SnacksDid you weigh-in this week? πŸ™‚ Our current Low Carb Challenge is nearing the end, but we’re gearing up for another FUN challenge starting soon!

You’ll find the Week 12 Weigh In inside the Challenge Group, or you can comment here on this post if you’re not participating in our Facebook group.

We’ll have our final weigh-in for this challenge on Monday, April 2nd.

This challenge has been particularly challenging for me…

This pretty much sums up the month of March for me, lol:

Keto Weight Loss Problems - Low Carb Discussion

Which is why I started using Ketone Strips and kicked off a series of clean testing experiments – to figure out what has caused my weight loss to stall out and just keep fluctuating plus or minus five pounds, for a full year now.

In my last weigh-in post I was stuck (holding) at 140.8 pounds and had just gotten back into optimal ketosis after testing a low carb product.

Then in my last food diary post I shared my meals for last Tuesday and Wednesday, and that I screwed up my “optimal ketosis” state – but not with food…

What really happened, what I thought happened, and what happened next… that’s the topic for today, along with what I’ve been eating to get myself back in ketosis since then. πŸ™‚

Keto SnacksTo catch you up, when we left off last I was planning to go out dancing and have a few beers on Thursday night.

I rarely drink, but I do love live music & dancing, and a couple of low carb beers to go with it. πŸ˜‰

I wasn’t feeling that great on Wednesday, kinda sluggish and allergy or cold symptoms, so I decided I should start taking my multi-vitamin again.

Sounds like a good idea, right?

I haven’t been taking them for awhile. I got out of the habit. I take Irwin Naturals Living Green Multi Liquid-Gel for Women. I only take ONE and always with food & water, otherwise it tends to upset my stomach for some reason.

Vitamins and Ketone Testing - False Negatives and False Positives

I only took that ONE vitamin (one of a 3-capsule daily serving) on Wednesday, and otherwise only had “tested foods” within my usual keto macros – but I immediately tested “out of ketosis” within hours of taking the vitamin. (???)

From that point forward, my ketone testing was all over the place. I had tested my normal color of ketosis that morning, but after taking the vitamin I would either get a flatline (no color, out of ketosis) or BRIGHT pink, like glow in the dark HOT pink lol.

Ketostix Testing - False Negatives or False Positives

My first concern was that all the fruit & vegetable blends in this particular vitamin MUST have naturally occurring sugar and that it knocked me out of ketosis.

I spoke with their Consumer Affairs nutrition expert on the phone though, and she assured me there is less than .05 of any macronutrient per 3-capsule serving.

Further research dug up some interesting facts and speculations, specifically that vitamins can throw false negatives AND false positives, and even that high doses of Vitamin C may affect your readings. Whether or not it affects your actual ketone levels or throws you out of ketosis, I have no idea.

I just knew that I didn’t know, and no longer had a reliable way to test. Not while the vitamin was still in my system at least.

The ketone test strips saying I was out of ketosis is one thing, but I ate good and then woke up the next morning bloated and weighing 1.5 pounds heavier (water weight).

Rah! πŸ™„

I had no idea at that point if I was IN or OUT (of ketosis) so I just decided to blow it off and let it play out and see – and continue to only eat “tested low carb foods” (based on my current clean testing).

So for breakfast on Thursday I had two of the Low Carb Blueberry Cinnamon Bun Muffins I made last week using this recipe, warmed up & topped with butter.

Gluten Free Low Carb Blueberry Muffins, Keto Friendly and LCHF

I also finished the last Blueberry Fat Bomb that was hiding in the freezer. πŸ™‚

Homemade Low Carb Candy - Keto LCHF Fat Bombs

All afternoon I was considering what to do while I wrapped up my work for the day. Aaron and I had a date that night to hit the city and go see a live band…

I’ve been waiting on a good opportunity to enjoy my favorite off-plan (but still paleo and relatively low carb) meal: sushi – which also happens to be Aaron’s favorite indulgence in our otherwise keto diet.

I was torn all afternoon about that though. But also slightly bloated already, slightly annoyed too lol, and then the fact that it was bothering me started bothering me. πŸ˜›

I decided to let it all go and just do a “hard reset.”

Neither of us ate that much at dinner, just enough to be satisfied and no more, then we headed to Nashville and I enjoyed my three low carb beers and some dancing.

Low Carb Night Out at The Basement Nashville with Michelob Ultra Low Carb Beer

At the point that I decided to “let it go” on Thursday I took another vitamin, given I wasn’t going to be testing my ketone levels for a few days anyway – and I haven’t been feeling my best.

I’ll have to figure out what to do about that, or whether it’s really a problem for me, like maybe a sensitivity or reaction to one of the ingredients or blends in it – because it has always given me indigestion, and the bloating and negative readings make me want to toss it. πŸ˜‰

I woke up craving pancakes on Friday morning…

Sidenote: I don’t even know why I’m sharing all of this with you, or if you even care, but I figure you want to know my thought process – and how I got myself back in ketosis, which is where I’m going with this next.;)

So yes, I woke up with a headache (I’m a lightweight, lol) and craving SWEETS.

It was the perfect morning for Low Carb Pecan Pie Pancakes, for sure. πŸ™‚

Low Carb Keto Pancakes

I have THREE low carb syrups I like, but only two that I’ve done clean testing on so far. I still haven’t tested the ChocoZero products to see if or how they affect my ketone levels…

I like them all three, but the ChocZero syrup is definitely my favorite. It’s thick and rich and absolutely delicious!

Best Low Carb Pancake Syrup

Nature’s Hollow Sugar Free Syrup is 2 net carbs for 1/4 cup.

ChocZero Syrups are 2 net carbs per TBSP.

Know Foods Syrup is zero net carbs.

I haven’t been enjoying the ChocZero products or flavored syrups lately since I’ve been doing my clean testing experiments one product at a time, so I took this “testing break” as an opportunity to ENJOY my favorite ChocZero syrup: Maple Pecan! πŸ™‚

Chozero Low Carb Syrups

Fluffy pecan pie pancakes and ooey gooey maple pecan thick & rich syrup was the PERFECT low carb hangover cure. πŸ™‚ lol

Low Carb Pancake Breakfast Ideas

At this point (Friday morning) I have no idea if I’m still in ketosis or not, and still don’t trust the test strips yet – given I had another vitamin the day before, plus untested products.

I’m not 100% sure the ONE sushi roll on Thursday night would knock me all the way out of ketosis (or not). I’m guessing so, but that’s definitely just a guess, with no way to confirm either way.

The only other meal I ate on Friday after the low carb pancakes & syrup was a totally off-plan meal (just a single meal, not a binge – which is a win for me, lol) to ensure the “hard reset” I was after. That plus no more vitamins of course, so I could start getting accurate ketone readings again.;)

I woke up on Saturday morning ready to dive back in with a clean slate, but FIRST – I had a ChocZero Dipping Cup for breakfast, because I haven’t had one in months, and it might be the last chance for awhile! πŸ™‚

I had cream cheese and peanut butter with a ChocZero Dark Chocolate Dipping Cup poured over the top. All low carb of course!

Keto Fat Bomb - LCHF Treats

The dipping cups are still out of stock, but you can still get white chocolate on Amazon – for now, anyway.

After breakfast on Saturday I resumed my “clean eating” to get back into optimal ketosis – eating only foods I have tested so far and know for sure don’t have a negative affect on my ketone levels.

So for lunch I finished the last two Low Carb Blueberry Cinnamon Bun Muffins I made last week using this recipe. Keto Tested and approved! πŸ˜‰

I topped them with cream cheese and frozen blueberries, which I warmed up together just enough to make it fluffy and purple -lol. That was delicious!!

Low Carb Breakfast Ideas for a Keto LCHF Diet

For dinner I kept it simple with three eggs fried in real butter and topped with cheese:

Cheesy Fried Eggs

On Sunday morning I decided to try the new flavor of KZ Paleo Cereal: Strawberry & Chocolate. It’s way different than the Original KZ Cereal with big dried strawberries in it!

Paleo Keto Friendly Low Carb Breakfast Cereal

They are both sold out on Amazon, but I got this bag of the new Strawberry & Chocolate cereal in one of my February Keto Boxes.

I had it with 1/4 cup Daisy Brand 4% cottage cheese (half a serving), 30 grams of pecans, and 2 servings of the cereal mix – for a total of 4 net carbs.

LCHF Keto Breakfast Ideas

That was so good I had it again for lunch! πŸ™‚

Aaron came over that evening, so I decided to make dinner for a change.

I started with this simple “cucumber salad” which is just diced cucumber salted, with a TBSP or so of mayo and crumbled feta cheese.

Simple Low Carb Sides - Easy Cucumber Salad

You can get as fancy as you like with it, using a low carb vinaigrette instead of mayo, adding diced tomatoes, etc – but we both like simple.

Low Carb Cucumber Feta Salad

I always make the cucumber salad first then set it in the fridge while I make dinner. Which tonight was turkey sandwiches on spinach bread.

First though, while I was slicing up that cucumber, we had a delicious snack of Apple Pie Almond Butter on crisp cold cucumber slices. YUM! πŸ™‚

Healthy Keto Snack Ideas

Have you ever tried your nut butter on cucumber?? I like it so much better than celery!

The Low Carb Spinach Bread Recipe is super easy to make, and it’s one of Aaron’s favorites. I made half a batch (1/2 cup almond flour, 3 oz finely shredded parmesan, 1 tbsp melted butter, 1 large egg & 1/2 bag of frozen spinach).

Easy Low Carb Meal Ideas

The half batch made 6 biscuits, which made 3 sandwiches – one for me and two for him.;)

I had turkey, mayo & fresh baby spinach on mine.

Low Carb Sandwich Ideas

Keeping with foods I knew were tested and “keto approved” to get back into Optimal Ketosis, I had low carb blueberry pancakes for breakfast on Monday morning – made with the same nut butter recipe I used before.

Gluten Free Low Carb Pancakes

I added frozen blueberries too, in addition to the berries in the Blueberry Cinnamon Bun Nut Butter, so they were especially delicious!

Low Carb Blueberry Pancakes

And this time I used Nature’s Hollow Sugar Free Syrup on them. πŸ˜‰

Breakfast was actually late in the morning, so I had a super late lunch – or more like an early dinner.

Aaron brought salmon & broccoli take-out from Applebee’s with a side caesar salad. That hit the spot! I ate it ALL, where I would usually make two meals out of that.;)

Keto Take-Out from Applebee's - Low Carb Meal Ideas

Later that night I got hungry, and just had some cream cheese & nut butter together, which is my latest low carb obsession. It’s so creamy & good, like cream pie πŸ™‚ – especially with the flavored nut butters!

I’m using Philadelphia “5 Simple Ingredients” cream cheese which is 1/2 carb per ounce instead of 2 carbs per ounce. I had 2.5 ounces of that with 3 TBSP of Pecan Pie Almond Butter (only 1 net carb per TBSP).

Low Carb Pecan Pie Almond Butter

That ^ is SO good! I’m pretty sure my nut butter was making faces at me though -lol. πŸ™‚


That brings us up to date…

I was back in ketosis as of Tuesday morning. I had the same cereal for breakfast again, sausage & eggs for lunch, and just some pecans and cream cheese & nut butter for dinner – because I was tired. πŸ˜›

This time last week I was “holding” at 140.8 pounds.

After the “vitamin incident” I was up to 142.8.

After my “hard reset” on Friday I was at 145 pounds.

Yesterday (Tuesday morning) I weighed in at 143 pounds – and showed on the Ketone Strips as finally back in ketosis.

Today (Wednesday) I woke up in Optimal Ketosis with a solid reading on the Ketone Strip, but one pound higher on the scale: at 144 pounds. Such is the way it goes, I’m used to that. It all plays out over time…

My goal is to get back into the 130’s where my body belongs, but as I’ve mentioned before: I’m less concerned about the number on the scale and more focused on 1) staying/being IN ketosis, and 2) getting back to regular workouts and an active lifestyle to build up my core strength & muscle tone again.


I’m honestly frustrated and kinda over the whole product testing thing and really just want to eat pecan halves and eggs and steak and not even THINK about it anymore – or pee on another test strip. πŸ˜› lol.

Blah – it’s too much like dieting!

Still, I’m determined to identify what has caused my weight loss to stall over this last year. So I’ll let you know when I decide to do my next “clean test” – intentionally this time lol. But at least I learned something new about vitamins & supplements!

I guess I should have expected screwy results considering they make my pee glow in the dark. πŸ˜‰

How are things going with you this week?

Don’t forget to weigh-in here, or in your comment below…

Leave a comment and let’s chat!:)

Sorry for the little “detour” this week but at least I didn’t totally go off the rails. πŸ˜‰ And yes, I know I should “eat like a grownup” a little more often (ha!), but having keto flu AND a full work schedule – I’ve just been eating what’s on hand (and “keto approved” already).

Plus you know how it is: the minute you knock yourself out of ketosis you start craving sweets again. But I did keep it to low carb sweets within my keto macros.;) Win!

I hope you at least got some good low carb food ideas to try this week from this update! πŸ™‚ *cheers* xo

To be low carb continued…

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler

Med Lab Diagnostics Ketone Strips Keto Test (150 count)
Our coupon code for 15% off is: MEDKETONE15

(this is a better discount than the $1 coupon on Amazon!)


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Low Carb Snack Box


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About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
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21 Responses to My Low Carb Frustration – and Food Diary 🙂

  1. Kathy DuBois says:

    I enjoy your Blog so much and get so much out of it! Thank you for being our tester and finding out all this info at your own expense! It is very appreciated! Have a wonderful week!

  2. Kathy says:

    I’m confused about the Ketone testing. Should you be IN Ketosis or OUT of Ketosis? And what color on the strips should you be?

  3. Susan Beuscher says:

    Hi Lynn.. thanks for sharing honestly and being so open with your keto/low carb food journey. You encourage me to keep on trying and hang in there when I experience some ups and downs in weight and in/out of ketosis. you are an inspiration! Please keep on sharing your journey with us!! SusieB

  4. AMY H says:

    I was wondering about vitamins. That helps –Thank you!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’m still *wondering* about vitamins, Amy -lol. Research brings up a lot of interesting things though, such as whether we even need Vitamin C on a keto diet, as just one example.

      I think this particular vitamin is not a good fit for me personally just because the blends upset my stomach. I love the idea of getting in the habit of taking a good vitamin though – and of course the key will be to do your keto testing BEFORE you take any vitamins or supplements for the day. πŸ˜‰

  5. sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, experiences and even set backs.
    I have been in a STALL after a gain for awhile now. *need to re read your idea that being in solid state ketosis ( in the pink) consistently is more important than the scale. : ) plus I don’t do vitamins so that is not an issue. I am off to see some of your tested safe foods and have found fat bombs to help with the sweet cravings, so love your extra product suggestions.

    Love your site and group.
    thank you

    • Lynn Terry says:

      The scale can drive you nuts. πŸ˜‰ I share mine so that people can see it’s TOTALLY NORMAL to see fluctuations like that from day to day. The key is the long-term weight loss AND health benefits. And of course being able to relax into the long game, so to speak – which can be a challenge.

      There are SO many new “keto products” hitting the market, and new sweeteners and blends too, so I’m finding it interesting to start testing those to see how they affect me – and also read other people’s experiences with them as well.

      Unfortunately most people “guess” instead of “test” – so it can be hard to get accurate information from the community. I really want to encourage everyone to start testing more specifically, and discover what REALLY works (and what doesn’t) for YOUR body.

      Why? Because I see people give up and/or say “keto doesn’t work for me” and I KNOW that isn’t really the case. It’s a matter of finding out what you need to add, eliminate or adjust – that’s all! πŸ˜‰

      What do you think might be causing YOUR stall – and how long has that been going on now?

      • sarah says:

        Hi Lynn!
        Thanks for writing back,

        I started your early 2018 challenge when I returned from a family new years ski trip. Jan 8. I was in the pink testing in ketosis Jan 9 and remained in solid ketosis through early March. (I did not lose any weight.) That surprised me a little as before once I was in the groove, it melted off.

        NOW… I felt better. Love this WOE and the clear mindedness as well as feeling like I am in control, checking off the eating healthfully… So I will keep going…I just would like to see the scale budge.

        I had a slow weigh creep late summer and early fall with a lot of stress, moving and lif…and want to get back down to my “fighting weight” again.

        Your blog statement about moving, exercise and tone hit home. Need to prioritize that.

        The other interesting thing is that I am not out of my smaller size pants, but they do fit a little snug in the waist. Was down to a 6 and feel better in an 8 or 10 right now which is still not bad.

        I just had a spring in my step and was happier.

        I am actually headed onto Spring Break and going to use this week as a reboot (started yesterday) with new keto strips and ready to push water and walking. I do not feel deprived or on a diet with the WOE so this vaca will allow me to focus on me a little and get priorities in check.

        Any insight appreciated.

        Thank you again for your site and your wonderful support group.


        • Lynn Terry says:

          Are you tracking with MyFitnessPal or another app, and are you doing 70% fat consistently?

          I ask because eating too lean (anything lower than 70% fat) stalls my weight loss completely.

          I would start eliminating one potential food culprit at a time in a series of clean testing like I’m doing. That worked for me! Until I took the vitamin and threw everything out of whack, lol…

  6. @ohstel says:

    Hi Lynn….
    Thanks for taking the time posting your thoughts. In the midst of testing all of these products, are you still adding Ketologies’ Colagen powder? If so, how is it working for you?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      YES! The Ketologie shakes were one of the products I have tested already, and I was using those products regularly while getting back into ketosis – and back down to my lowest weight this month (139.8). Those are a GREAT product, very keto friendly, and of course rich & delicious too. πŸ˜‰

      I’m using the Keto Shakes, chocolate and vanilla both, mostly in “hot coffee shakes” (like BPC) as a meal replacement: and both of those (and their broths too) do have the collagen in them as well.

  7. Helga says:

    I am thinking that the nut butters can cause weight gain because they are really calorie dense, at least I have to be careful.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Helga,

      If you’re talking about MY weight fluctuations this week, no – the nut butters don’t cause any weight gain for me at all. The opposite actually, I got down to my lowest weight during this challenge eating the nut butters daily.

      There are no mights or maybes with me though, because I am doing a series of very clean product / food testing this month. πŸ˜‰ And I was very happy the nut butters are definitely keto friendly!

      Now if you are NOT eating keto (20 net carbs max, 70% fat minimum) that might be a different story.

      As for my weight gain, I know exactly what caused that. The vitamin is still questionable (as it wasn’t a true clean test) but I did wake up 1.5 pounds heavier the next morning with no other changes or additions.

      But my real culprit this week was the one sushi roll and the cheeseburger & fries the next day for my “hard reset” – which took me two meals to eat, because I can’t even eat something like that in one sitting anymore. πŸ˜›

      It’s not even actually the foods I ate to knock myself out of ketosis, it’s being OUT of ketosis that instantly puts water weight and inflammation back on my body. You can’t actually gain several pounds from eating one cheeseburger. πŸ˜‰ Otherwise there would be an epidemic… lol.

      Anyway, the nut butters are safe. YAY!! That’s why I’ve been using those so often lately, and why I ate them liberally while intentionally getting my body back in ketosis – and how I *dropped* my weight back down. πŸ™‚

  8. Kathi says:

    Hi Lynn-
    I really feel that the ketone strips, as a method of testing for ketosis are frustrating in themselves because they are so unreliable for this purpose. When you test out of ketosis in the strips, it could just be that you utilized the ketones you produced as energy. You also produce less of the type of ketone that is tested the longer you’re in ketosis. There are many articles & research that supports this. Urine strips are primarily for diabetics to check for keto acidosis. A blood ketone meter would be much more accurate and helpful.
    Thanks for all you do!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I don’t disagree with you, Kathi πŸ™‚ and I mentioned that in my original post on this topic: BUT… I am testing publicly in a way that is easily affordable and available to the general public. For the purpose of helping others understand how to use them, what they’re for, what they tell you – and as you can see from my posts, what to do if they seem inaccurate (research, listen to your body and other signs – like my bloating and weight gain along with it, for example – etc).

      Not everyone can afford a blood ketone meter, or will even want to get that invested. I personally don’t. This is a temporary “clean testing experiment” – and I chose ketone strips that are created by a clinical lab scientist and are personally guaranteed. (And scored our group a discount on them too!)

      Plus this is very much in line with my mantra of “keep it simple.” πŸ™‚ A LOT of people use the urine testing / ketostix or ketone strips, so I think it’s good for me to try them as well and discuss it publicly – for what it tells you AND what it doesn’t.

  9. Donna says:

    Hello Lynn,
    Thanks for your blogs, i really look forward to reading them and find them very helpful.
    It’s like getting a letter from a friend.
    Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing your life with us,

  10. Amy says:

    The multi-vitamin that I take is Wal-Mart’s equate One Daily Womens Health. I’ve had good luck with it and it doesn’t effect my ketosis.

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