I’m finally back to eating at least one full meal most days (and on good days: two meals!) so I thought I would share this week’s food diary with you, and also share what I would change (and why), or: what advice I would give if I was analyzing this food diary for someone else.
First though, THANK YOU for all of the comments & emails. I really appreciate your kind words and encouragement, and look forward to sitting down to reply for a fun “social hour” – I’m going to enjoy that! 💝
One Week Keto Food Diary : 7 Days of Low Carb Meals
I start every day with my collagen coffee first thing in the morning ☕️ which I enjoy SO much. 🥰 Collagen is great for pretty much everything, but for me right now: joint pain & hair loss.
My hair was growing back in nicely before this latest relapse, so when I’m not well I’ll usually double the collagen and have it twice a day instead of once.
I’m still struggling with nausea & lack of appetite off & on, although it’s way better than it was all of last month and I’m finally able to eat whole meals again.
The “lack of appetite” is more about feeling ill even at the thought of food, much less the smell. When I’m not hungry I don’t eat. It’s when I’m famished and can’t eat that it’s frustrating.
These keto protein bars are my go-to for that. The flavor and texture is nice, think: almond butter, cocoa, collagen & sea salt – not overly sweet, with little crunchy bits, plus the perfect hint of salt.
They’re very satisfying, and also fix my nausea pretty much instantly.
This the Almond Butter Brownie Bar from Perfect Keto. I’m getting them 45% off on this page. It’s a secret build-your-bundle deal where you get 45% off 4+ products, so if you only want two things you can use code LYNN20 for 20% off instead. That’s where I get my collagen too. I use their Unflavored Collagen Powder.
Sunday May 1st
This will sound crazy, but I woke up last Sunday totally FAMISHED and specifically craving this meal. I’ve always loved “breakfast for dinner” but this time I had… dinner for breakfast, lol.
Garlic Steak & Roasted Sweet Potatoes (30 net carbs)
I usually stick to 20 net carbs a day max, so that meal would be considered more “low carb” than “keto” – but sweet potato won’t usually knock me out of ketosis. This meal does not. That’s something you’d have to test for yourself. See: Is Sweet Potato Keto Friendly?
This was the first day I had a really good appetite in awhile, so I also had a full meal for dinner later that night. It was take-out from Applebee’s: Grilled Salmon & Steamed Broccoli
We were talking about the new ChocZero white chocolate cookies & cream bark on Facebook, so I decided to try it. I prefer the dark chocolate almond & sea salt bark myself – that’s my favorite! – but I got this for my daughter, so I decided to try it and ate maybe 1/3 of a bar.
Their new white chocolate line is really popular, but my favorites are: the new double dipped toffee almonds, strawberry chocolate chips & peanut butter chocolate chips, milk chocolate coconut bark and the dark chocolate almond bark. Our discount code is TRAVELINGLOWCARB at ChocZero if ever need one. Those chocolate chips are back in stock now! 🍫🍓
I’m not eating sweets or snacks right now, but I did order some of the peanut butter chips and strawberry chips for when I’m feeling better, because they’ve been out of stock forever! 🙂
Monday May 2nd
This was pretty much an awful terrible day and what sparked the horrible embarrassing rant in my last blog post. 🤦♀️ I was so sick all day that it took me almost 9 hours just to get showered and dressed to go out at 6:30 for dinner.
I had one of those Almond Butter Brownie keto bars in the morning and another one in the early afternoon, to get through bouts of nausea, tremors, feeling shaky & lightheaded, yada yada yada blah. I’m so glad those work though, because they’ve been a real save through all of this! I’m also glad I found them almost half off, because there’s no way I’d pay full price for them. 👀 😜
My dinner was fabulous: a house burger (no bun,please) with sweet potato fries, a large water, and an ice cold bottle of Michelob Ultra – which was SO nice. I haven’t had a beer in ages!
There are “good” sweet potato fries and “bad” sweet potato fries. Those were the bad ones. 😁 They did knock me out of ketosis, but I don’t have the carb tolerance right now that I used to when I was more active (and well). But it was worth it. 😉
Tuesday May 3rd
Morning: the usual – collagen coffee & protein bar. I was really sick Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Gosh, the whole week I guess. I felt pretty good last Sunday, and then again yesterday (Saturday). The good days are pretty rare and still hard, and usually only a few good hours on and off, but I *so* appreciate those.
Today started off “good” but then I crashed for 3 hours after my morning coffee – and had the tremors and distorted vision and severe cognitive dysfunction all afternoon. That’s so frustrating. It only lasted a few hours and I’m feeling better now at least. Anyway…
Tuesday I had a late lunch / early dinner meal: Egg Roll In A Bowl – I fried it crisp in a little butter and added mozzarella (28g). This is a meal I’ve been eating on repeat because it’s something I can eat when nothing else appeals.
Later that night I had a pint of Rebel keto friendly ice cream for dinner. I got hungry again (yay!) but my throat was closing shut and I had a hard time swallowing.
This happens often in the evening hours for some reason, along with other symptoms of a “histamine response” which is common with longcovid. It’s bizarre, and can hit me anytime, but lately it’s been more common in the evening hours.
I don’t usually eat “dessert” so if I’m going to have keto ice cream I’ll eat it AS a meal – like a protein shake, but frozen. 🙂
Wednesday May 4th
I had a bar in the morning, and a bar later that night when I got nauseous again, and in between I had the Egg Roll In A Bowl meal again. Otherwise I just drank plenty of water, rested, and tried to get through the day.
There are a lot of great recipes to make Egg Roll In A Bowl at home, and it’s GREAT for keto meal prep if you do that, but I’ve been ordering it from Evolve.
I love their Old Fashioned Chicken Salad too. They have a lot of great keto friendly low carb meals, but those are two of my TOP favorites that I order every time.
My discount code is LOWCARBTRAVELER for 20% off Evolve Meals or this link will give you 20% off at Evolve. You can order a la carte straight off their website menu (you don’t have to subscribe). That’s what I do.
Thursday May 5th
I had my coffee, my bar 🙂 and later in the evening half a pint of keto ice cream (again). Early afternoon though I did eat with my daughter when she was home and cooked.
Sausage & “Dirty Eggs” scrambled in the sausage pan with a little cheddar:
That was delicious, but I didn’t have much of an appetite so I ate a few bites – then finished the rest later. I know reheated eggs sounds awful, and I don’t disagree, but I can’t cook right now and it suited me just fine that night while I was home alone when I got hungry again. 😉
Friday May 6th
I had a bar in the morning, one in the afternoon, then chicken salad for dinner.
I added 42 grams of roasted pecans, and a slice of colby jack cheese off the block:
That chicken salad is AMAZING.
It’s the Old Fashioned Chicken Salad from Evolve I mentioned above. TIP: They publish the ingredients for every meal on their website if you want to recreate this one at home. 😉
Saturday May 7th
I slept a lot, but had a good appetite in the late afternoon finally, and ate a ribeye steak with steamed broccoli. I’d been craving a ribeye all week and it was SO good! 😍
I couldn’t finish all of that but I ate more than half, which was great. It was also take-out from Applebee’s because they have carside-to-go so sometimes my daughter will grab something for me to have in the refrigerator to easily heat up if I get hungry.
That’s the only thing I ate yesterday (a little more than half that plate) but I did end up having keto ice cream again last night when my throat started swelling shut. It’s not just my throat, it’s my tongue and everything, which makes it really hard to get much of anything else down.
👩🍳 How to make a great ribeye at home:
room temp ribeye, salt it, bake at 200° for 30 minutes – then fry it in smoking hot bacon grease for 1-2 minutes per side. 💯 (2 minutes per side made mine come out medium well)
Today so far I’ve had my collagen coffee, a bar and a big bottle of water, then around 3pm I finished what was left of the ribeye & broccoli from yesterday. It was still just as good. 🙂 But I’m also not really that picky lately, lol.
I’m sure everyone has a morning routine. I’d love to hear yours!
I think morning routine is really helpful for staying on track with your goals. It’s also been really helpful for me this past year dealing with neurological issues, because it’s a “constant” to start my day with that helps me get a little grounded.
I like to have my first coffee on the deck, and then eat my protein bar at my desk while I’m working. I usually have a decent hour or two around mid morning where I can work a little at least. Which is also nice, it gives me a sense of purpose and a sense of accomplishment. 🙂
I get both of those staples from Perfect Keto. I stock up during their sales so I don’t ever have to pay full price. My discount code is LYNN20 for 20% off at Perfect Keto.
Right now I have a 20% off code you can add at checkout: LYNN20 – and then I get the keto bars 45% off on this secret bundle page in a separate order.
My daughter likes their Cinnamon Toast collagen. Their new keto breakfast cereal is really good. My daughter loves that too. They have a lot of great things I like, and some of the best ingredients with “keto products” but I’m limiting sweets etc right now. Once I’m feeling better I look forward to trying that keto brownie mix that was in the box. 🥰
Elimination Diets (Are Not One Size Fits All)
One of the reasons I’m using the Almond Butter Brownie bars is because I’ve cycled through several elimination diets since I got sick, and those bars consistently “work” for me.
An elimination diet is a great way to identify any culprits causing you digestive issues, weight loss stalls, etc. There are all kinds of “diets” or protocols you can use to improve your health or very specific issues/symptoms..
AIP = Anti Inflammatory Protocol, which is very much like keto but even more strict. For some reason “eggs” is on that list (to eliminate) which made me curious, so I’ll have to look up why.
I’ve been reading more about a Low-Histamine Diet as well, given a miserable and incessant histamine response is common with longcovid. A lot of people in my support group are seeing good results with that. That can also be keto / very low carb but eliminates foods like avocado, cheese, tuna, sauerkraut, spinach, yogurt, kefir, etc.
Then there’s the GAPS Diet which is the opposite and encourages things like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, etc. They are all forms of an elimination diet but with different food lists.
It really boils down to bio-individuality. Even two people with the same condition, like IBS for example, or long covid, may respond fine to one food that another can’t tolerate.
Elimination diets aren’t meant to be “forever” but as a means of identifying and eliminating those things that are causing you issues. Even the original Atkins low carb diet starts out with a very strict “induction phase” then phases up to add in a wider variety of healthy whole foods until you reach a “happy place” that’s easily sustainable once you’ve achieved the desired weight loss and health improvements.
What has worked out well for me is to start with “meat and water” only. That would be considered Keto Carnivore which is a bit of an extreme diet as a lifestyle in my opinion, but a great starting point for a “clean” elimination diet. I say that because the first time I had gut health issues years ago (following another horrible virus), “wing night” was the ONLY night I didn’t get horribly sick. So that’s where I started.
If you’re doing pretty okay but your weight loss has stalled or slowed down, or you just want to “clean up your diet” a bit and speed up the weight loss a little too, THIS works like a charm:
Also a form of an “elimination diet” but with no hard rules or must-nix foods list.
Advice I Would Give To Myself
Even 11 years into eating very low carb, I still log all of my meals and macros. I use the free version of MyFitnessPal. So even when I’m doing or eating something that isn’t “great” or ideal – I’m well aware of that. 😉
Sometimes I just don’t care, or I’m being obstinate (lol). Sometimes it’s about staying on track, like choosing “keto brownies” over eating sugar. Sometimes you just need a pint of (keto) ice cream and a great movie when you’re mad at the world.:)
Even then, it’s good to know which brands or which sweeteners you can tolerate, or that won’t treat you wrong. I really like Mammoth Creameries keto ice cream but it’s hard for me to get here. Lately I’ve been eating the Rebel chocolate peanut butter keto ice cream because it doesn’t upset my stomach and for some reason it gets my digestive system working again. 🤷♀️
You know yourself better than anyone else does, and you’re the only one that can figure out if a food is good for YOU or not – through trial and error. As for advice I’d give myself, or swaps I’m considering…
Coffee tops the list. 🙁 I have coffee on good days and bad days alike, and it’s never caused me a problem before, so I’m putting this on the back burner for now. But it’s something I’d ultimately like to quit. I think. Don’t hold me to that. lol.
My morning routine is important to me, so I’d swap it for a good gut health tea and/or homemade bone broth. Definitely tea for mornings, I think.
I considered replacing the ice cream I eat some evenings with low carb frozen yogurt as a healthy swap… but I keep hesitating because it’s on the list of high histamine foods. And because I really do NOT like yogurt. 🙂 I can tolerate Fage 5% if I absolutely have to though. But the histamine response quiets down when I eat a little of the keto ice cream, so… I dunno.
That’s it really. I’m mostly just eating eggs, meat & vegetables. I could definitely cut out the cheese, with sadness, but that’s easy enough. I’m not sure I could eliminate the protein bars right now, and they’ve “passed the test” in every elimination diet – but they do have way fewer and way better ingredients than most bars. That said, I can replace those with a boiled egg or two once I get a solid appetite back.
I can’t really think of anything else. I’m very diligent about tracking all of my meals and macros, and keeping a detailed symptom diary so I can track back things that cause flare-ups, or if there’s any correlation to good days / bad days – what I’m eating and what I’m doing alike.
For example, I’ve noticed getting emotional gives me the tremors followed by abdominal distension and severe cognitive dysfunction. That’s a consistent reaction for me, so I do my best to control my thoughts and feelings – and avoid emotional situations.
Keeping a symptom journal along with a food diary is key if you’re working through health issues. Quality of life is everything! You can find “diets” and “food lists” and all kinds of restrictive protocols all over the internet… but it boils down to bio-individuality and trial and error.
Like I said in my last post, what I’m eating hasn’t made me sick (or sicker), but you can definitely use food to improve how you feel, based on your specific goals or needs.
Whether you just want to lose weight, break a weight loss stall, or you have a nagging case of IBS that just flares up now and then, or something more serious and consistent like an autoimmune disorder – it’s about finding what works for YOU.
For me lately, it’s been about getting back to eating (first, top priority) because I was hardly eating most of April – and that really concerned me (a lot). It’s also about what’s tolerable or palatable for me right now with the appetite & nausea issues.
But it’s also about what is sustainable for your personally, which I think is really important for making healthy lifestyle changes – that stick.
For some people that means eliminating ALL temptations or replacements, which is pretty awesome if you can do that. If you can’t, or if you just want to have “a burger and a beer” now and then, find a way to make it work for YOU.
On that note, surprisingly – the one beer I had last Monday with dinner didn’t aggravate my digestive issues or cause any flare-ups or problems at all. It’s rare that I even have a drink so I haven’t had the opportunity to test that in the last year or so. I expected it to make me feel worse, but I actually perked up a little there for a bit after I had that beer. Or maybe that’s just because I was excited about those sweet potato fries that I knew were coming. 😅
Anyway, I hope this food diary of my week gave you some meal ideas for the week ahead. Everything I shared can easily be made or recreated at home if you like to cook – or even if you don’t. I had two take-out meals in there and I’m getting healthy low carb meals delivered right now to help out, but I found good salmon at Kroger once that was just as good and super easy – and keep things like Pictsweet Farms “steam in a bag” frozen spinach and broccoli on hand, plus frozen grilled chicken strips too, for quick easy meals.
Thank you again for all of your kind words & notes! 💕
I look forward to chatting with you more soon. 🙂
Discount Code: LOWCARBTRAVELER