Low-Carb Carrot Cake (for 2!)

It worked! Yay!

I love when I can make single (or double) serve recipes! I love them more when I can make them in the microwave (like the Keto Tiramisu)! This recipe was really tasty and actually satisfies that carrot cake craving. The only thing I would do differently is double up the cream cheese frosting.

The black walnuts are seriously “Elder Millennial” age. Cameraman Ken remembers when they received them from his grandfather (in Boone, IA) back in the early 1980s (no later than 1983. I was 5 in 1983)! They’ve been in the freezer/deep freeze pretty much ever since. His mother, Linda, was a packrat and only used things like those black walnuts on “special” occasions. She passed away in January of 2018; sadly, Cameraman Ken found her after a week on her kitchen floor. There was a lot surrounding it, but it was a super difficult time for everyone. She would have loved this carrot cake! And the crab cakes!

I’m not one for nuts in my food. I like Hershey bars with almonds; I prefer the Snickers with almonds, and my favorite non-chocolate bar is Payday. But, honestly, that’s as far as I go. I don’t like nuts in my cookies (except the macadamia nut & white chocolate chip cookies…which is the only way I like white chocolate), brownies, fudge, etc. And I especially do not like them in my carrot cake!

Except this time. With black walnuts. Those black walnuts really pulled all the flavors together and enhanced the richness and texture of the cake itself. Now, admittedly, the cake was a bit dry, but that could have been fixed with more cream cheese frosting. Which, y’know, when I make them again, we will add to!

As far as my weight-loss is concerned, I have a feeling I’m not going to really lose any more weight. It sort of makes me sad, but at the same time, I’m feeling healthier than I did 7 years ago when I was powerlifting and on a Paleo/Primal diet. Definitely feeling the best I’ve felt since the autoimmune issues hit me 6 years ago. The day I filmed this video, I was having some weather-change/Lupus flare up issues, but none so great as to keep me in bed all day. Just swollen, tender joints.

I hope you all are remaining in good health, washing your hands, and wearing your masks. We’ll get through this pandemic and we’ll be healthier for it.

Blessed Lughnasadh!

Sometimes I dress up and look pretty.

Merry meet and blessings be! Lughnasadh (LOO-nuh-suh) is upon us! The cross-quarter sabbat is a celebration of the First Harvest of the year. Today’s video features a seasonal dish, Blackberry Cobbler! I used an erithrytol sweetener for this recipe to comply with the low-carb diet I’ve been torturing myself with, but you could use regular sugar, if you desired. This is also gluten free and it is super amazing and tasty!

I chose blackberries because this is the last month they are available in SoCal. Now, Lughnasadh would normally feature the First Harvest–but, Lughnasadh is also sundown July 31 to sundown August 1, so trying to get two videos prepared for you before that date makes it a bit difficult to harvest first harvest items. 🙂

Also, a traditional Lughnasadh food is bread. I have a recipe for a Keto Flaxmeal bread that I’m itching to try, but I haven’t had the energy to expend in putting it together. Perhaps that will be a video for next week.

Although I do not, personally, celebrate Lughnasadh, I am more than happy to share with you ways you can bring the First Harvest season into your home. Just leave a comment on the video or on this blog post, or check out my Discord channel and ask there.

Blessed be.

Keto Tiramisu for Two

Lady Floppinwrist

Look at me go! Here’s a second blog post for the week! This one is for my favorite dessert, Tiramisu.

The recipe I used can be found here. As you will see if you watch the video, mine looks nothing like hers. And that’s okay. Mine tasted amazing and that’s what really matters. What I like about this recipe is that you can make just the cake part, if you are full of sadness and don’t really want to bother with the delicious marscapone part. It’s all still really good, low carb, high fat, and all delicious.

I’m going to go ahead and share my progress shots with you. I also do burlesque (or, am trying to. It’s difficult with the lockdowns in place), so you get one of my burlesque shots as a progress shot. Go you!

I can, at least, see a difference over the most recent two week period.

So, as I’ve mentioned, I have Lupus. I also have an autoimmune thyroid issue they think could be Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, but it could be Graves’ Disease, or it could be something else entirely. My TSH is low-normal. And because of that, they’re not doing anything about my metabolism/hormones. Fine, whatever. In April of 2018, I was miserable. I couldn’t move, I felt like a blimp–I was at my heaviest weight and afraid I was going to hit 200lbs. But, I didn’t know what to do. I was gluten free, so I wasn’t eating breads and pastas all that much and I cooked everything myself (or Cameraman Ken did). My joints ached all the time (bilaterally in the fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and feet/toes); I was in constant gastrointestinal distress. And nothing was working.

I made the decision to eliminate pork completely from my diet. No bacon, ham, pork sausage, etc. I don’t really like pork, anyway, and now the only pork I eat is in the form of chorizo from The Chori-Man. Regardless, that was the only change I’d made. That was in August; by October, I had lost 30 pounds. I was excited about that weight loss, but low-key concerned, too. Doctors didn’t even question anything. It was, “Great, you lost 30lbs. Your a1c went up from 5.8% to 5.9%. So, you need to lose some more weight and watch your carb and sugar intake. Oh, and exercise.”

After I had lost the 30lbs, I was able to move, so I started walking 1.25mi every morning. Then I started doing DDP Yoga 3/week. And that was what I was told at my last appointment, March 11, 2020 (when I tipped the scales at 167lbs…4lbs heavier than my last appointment, which I had gained from walking and doing DDP Yoga).

I went home upset. Maybe my a1c wasn’t going up because I was eating carbs and sugars. Maybe, just maybe, it was due to the underlying thyroid issue no one wants to do anything about because my TSH is “normal”? It’s not like that is anything that has ever happened.

I continued my DDP Yoga for another 2 weeks. I should have known what was coming. When my labs came back, I was notified that they were all fine, except ONE inflammation marker was high. I should have known. What happened next was a 3-month flare in which I had severe fatigue and random illnesses ranging from nausea with eating to a sinus infection to a UTI. I had very few “good days,” and I was starting to believe my QoL was going to be reduced to being content with 75% functionality at best.

What do you do when you can’t do anything else? Research. So, besides the research I was already doing for my dissertation, I started researching diets. “Watch your carbs and sugars,” she’d said. I had a food tracker. I tracked my macros meticulously and I wasn’t over-indulging like she thought I was. I researched Paleo more (I’d done it before when I was powerlifting). I researched Keto. I did a bit of research into carb cycling and thought the best way to “watch my carb and sugar intake” was to do a Keto-Paleo diet. That didn’t go as planned because I found the Paleo meals boring when I went to make them. So, I just did Keto, starting on June 1, 2020. By June 15, I was feeling really good–I wasn’t so puffy, I didn’t wake up with joint pain every morning, and I wasn’t so fatigued by 3pm that I had to sleep. So, I restarted my DDP Yoga program. Friday will see me completing week 4 of a 13 week program and I couldn’t be more excited. The program is ramping up, as well, so that gets me even more excited.

I added MCT oil to my diet–I have it in my coffee every morning–and I’m trying to do Intermittent Fasting (IF). I bought some test strips for checking my ketones (I’m very deeply in it), and figured I was good. For funsies, I decided to check my blood pressure the other day. It’s normally 110/70, unless I have coffee, then it’s 120/80. But, I tend towards low blood pressure. With all my working out and eating healthy and all, I thought maybe it would have gone down a bit. I had noticed my pulse would start at 120bpm before my workouts, but my pulse is normally high (like 75-90bpm, resting), so I thought nothing of it. Imagine my horror when the BP reading came back as 133/90.

RESEARCH TIME!

I’m doing everything right, why is my blood pressure and pulse going up!? Is it because fats are harder to burn for fuel, so my heart–which is a muscle–is working harder? I don’t have any symptoms of high BP, so, I’m not sure. I mean, I drink 70+ ounces of water per day!

Except water isn’t enough, as I discovered. I am fairly dehydrated, as it turns. In all my understanding of diet, exercise, etc, I’d forgotten the most important thing: Replenish your Electrolytes. So, I’m making electrolyte drinks twice a day for my non-workout days and three times for my workout days (basically, rather than drink water during my workouts, I drink the electrolyte mixture because, I am not a “glow” woman, I am a sweat like moose woman).

So! What have we learned? Keto is fantastic for helping a person lose weight, as long as you are willing to meticulously log everything that goes into your mouth. If you do choose to do a Keto diet (which is different from low-carb in that Keto is 20-25g or less of net carbohydrates; low carb is over that, but under 100g), make sure you’re replenishing salt, potassium, and magnesium. We have also learned that I run on bulletproof coffee and spite. Thank you for coming to my TedTalk. 😛