What To Do About Holidays on Keto: Tips & Recipes

The holidays are excellent times to break bread with family & friends. But what do you do when you don’t eat bread anymore?? It’s unfortunate that a lot of our social connections are built upon a foundation of carby foods, but the holidays don’t have to be restrictive. And you don’t have to feel the need to cheat to get through it.

This will be my 3rd holiday season after going low carb, so here are my tips and favorite (i.e. ACTUALLY GOOD) keto-certified recipes that may help you survive Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Keto Orange Chicken Recipe

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Chinese food is one thing that is hard for keto dieters (and low-carbers) to order. The sauces are made with both sugar and starch. The meals are paired with rice. The side items are wrapped and fried with flour.

So we tend to avoid Chinese food altogether because, well, why bother?

I set out about a year ago to create General Tso Chicken, which was one of my favorite dishes before I gave up sugar, grains, and starches. I couldn’t find a recipe that looked doable, so I set out for another popular and tasty dish: orange chicken.

Could I take a regular orange chicken recipe and make it low carb?

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Take a Look at My Insides (Plus an Update)

Today is Day 23 out of 30 of my no Keto treats & processed substitutes. I thought it was going to be a lot tougher, and sometimes I do still battle some cravings (and maybe have given into peanuts a few too many times), but it’s made fasting immensely easier. If you stall (or are stalled), the hyper-palatable foods (keto treats and bars, substitutes, dark chocolate, nuts, cheese, pork rinds, etc.) may be causing over-consumption. They were for me. I still haven’t given up cheese and nuts, though. I’m not quite ready. But I foresee that change in the future, at least for some portion of time.

I just got back from my second InBody 570 scan. This uses bio-electrical impedance to determine muscle, water, and fat by sending alternating currents throughout the body. The most accurate? Probably not, but since I can’t do a DEXA scan right now, it’s better than nothing.

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First 7 Out of 30 Days: No Sweet/No Processed Foods

As I discussed in last week’s blog, I’ve given up all things sweet, all things processed. Why? Because I’m an addict.

That may seem overly dramatic to call it that, but biologically, that’s exactly what it is. My brain gets a dopamine hit from sweet, processed foods, even if they are low or no carb. I seek out sweet taste and the comfort of a processed treat. I could be full to the brim on ribeye, but I’m going to still eat a huge hunk of chocolate or down a half (or whole) pint of keto ice cream.

I’m working slowly through a textbook called Processed Food Addiction. In the introduction, it has the following about the compulsive and impulsive nature of addiction that I’ve identified in my own dealings with sweet and processed food.

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Hello, My Name Is Keto Kelly and I’m a Sweets Addict (Still)

Over the last few weeks, it’s come to my attention that I’m addicted to sweet things. It surprised me, especially since I’m not addicted to sugar or carbs. Just the sweetness.

I partially discovered this disruption in my brain’s dopamine system because I read The Hacking of the American Mind by Dr. Robert Lustig. I identified symptoms of addiction and watched myself over the following weeks.

Even while listening to the book, I would take a second to consider not eating my favorite sweets, and I would immediately reject the idea.

But even before this, I noticed potential trouble. Since going keto 1.5 years ago, I spent a lot of time toying around with keto substitutes, such as bread, cake, cookies, and more. And I got really quite good at it.

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The Fast Way To Live Slow

Do you ever think about how often you eat and/or how long you eat and handle food? I don’t think most people do. I surely didn’t, at least not until I started implementing intermittent fasting and eventually extended water fasting into my life.

I’d estimate that I was eating at least a dozen times a day before I started on my new way of life. Snacking was a big deal. Meals were a big deal. Most of my daily entertainment had to do with food, whether planning it, thinking about it, or actually doing it. We have to eat and most cultures are built around eating, so it makes sense that it’d take up so much of my life, especially considering the kinds of foods I was eating that were making me hungrier.

But I didn’t realize how much food consumed my time until I stopped. That’s right.

I stopped eating.

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Why You Think I’m Nuts & How I Got Here

I’m fully aware that my diet & lifestyle are extreme. Had you presented me with where I’m at today 2 years ago, I would have looked at you cockeyed & considered never speaking to you again. But let’s take a dive into what I was eating 2 years ago.

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How the Dilbert Guy Made Me Lose 100 Pounds

What does a comic strip about office life have to do with losing weight?

I don’t consider myself part of the Dilbert generation even though it’s been in the background of my life forever. Instead, my fandom of Dilbert-creator, Scott Adams, came from an election cycle in 2016, which then lead to me losing almost 100 pounds (and counting) and my husband losing about 75.

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