Angel By The Wings | Music Monday

I missed last week because I was traveling for work – something that until recently seemed impossible. 

In 2018 I flew to a new city to start a new job.  My weight was climbing toward 300 pounds, I was swollen for no apparent reason, and I was crushingly exhausted all the time.  Now I know it’s lipedema, but that day, when I sat down and for the first time couldn’t buckle the seat belt… I wanted to melt into a puddle and disappear through the cracks in the floor.  Overwhelmed by shame, I covered my lap with my coat and pretended to be asleep when the flight attendant came through the cabin to check.  The world was no longer for me. I didn’t fly again for three years.

When I flew in December 2021 – even though I’d lost nearly 100 pounds – I bought two seats just for the peace of mind.  The woman at the ticket counter pursed her lips.  “You don’t look like you qualify,” she said finally.  I took a deep breath of confidence and told her I have a fat disorder.  Like most people, she was lost for words and quickly printed my boarding passes.  I fit in the seat, but it was snug.

My office booked the ticket for my trip last week, so I was at the whim of the travel agents.  I ended up in a middle seat on a sold-out flight.  Even though I knew I’d fit, I still held my breath as I dropped into the seat and reached for the belt.  Click.  No thigh overflow onto neighboring seats.  Keto works.  Fasting works.  Compression and stress management work. 

Two years ago, this moment and this trip felt impossible.  I was counting calories, exercising regularly, and getting worse.  I thought it was my fault.

This Music Monday, Sturdy Readers, I bring you Sia’s “Angel By the Wings”.  It’s a little more mellow than usual but I encourage you to take a few quiet minutes to close your eyes and be reminded “you can do anything.”  It’s a gorgeous way to start the week.

Oh so, your wounds they show
I know you have never felt so alone
But hold on, head up, be strong
….
You can, you can do anything

Sia “Angel By The Wings”

Use the comment section to let me and other Sturdy Readers know what you’ve accomplished in the face of chronic illness.

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Good as Hell | Music Monday

Happy Tuesday! This should have gone out yesterday, but I messed up the calendar. Oops!

How do you date when you have lipedema and follow a strict keto way of eating?  Confidently.  At least that’s how I’ve approached it. 

My strategy has been as follows.  I put several full-length pictures on my profile and said I was looking for someone who loves my curves as much as I do.  I’m not about to show up for a date and deal with body shame – I have better things to do!  It’s important to discuss lipedema and everything that means, but I don’t lead with that.  I try to let someone get to know me first.  Besides, lipedema is not the most important or interesting thing about me! 

After a few misses, I also learned a dinner date is not a great first date on strict keto… unless you happen to already know the other person has the same lifestyle!  Personally, I felt a little uncomfortable special ordering a big piece of meat within a few minutes of meeting someone and not quite ready to explain what I was doing and why.  With spring almost in full swing, a sunny walk outside, a coffee date, or something artsy are all safer alternatives.  The best date I’ve had so far was at an interactive art installation.  After exploring everything we lay on the floor in the middle of the gallery, letting flowers project on our faces and asking each other questions.  On the next date I told him… everything.

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The song that comes to mind most frequently lately is Lizzo’s “Good as Hell”.  My wish for you, Sturdy Readers, is that you can channel some of her confidence for your own relationships.  You deserve only good things and the moment someone makes you feel bad about your body or your lifestyle… do your hair toss, check your nails, and walk your fine ass our the door.  Being alone but feeling good is always better than being with someone who makes you feel like anything less than a diamond.

Onederland (Free)

This week I hit a huge milestone that I never imagined I’d see when I started keto in October 2020.  I am officially in onederland.  That’s right, a few days ago I stepped on the scale and was out of the 200s – and solidly there at that.  I finished a big work project a few days ago and had a huge whoosh when my body let go of all the stress.  I’m a lipedema woman so, generally, weight doesn’t mean a lot to me, but this felt like a big deal.

The last time I remember a scale reading less than 200 pounds was before I left for Liberia in 2011 (more about that here).  That’s 11 years.  For a long time, my body has felt like an enemy, something uncooperative, unpredictable, and unattractive.  Now that I understand what she is struggling with, I know how to support my body and I appreciate how damn hard she works every day.  Even at my lowest weight in 2010, I look back and can see the puffiness in my face and legs.  The one I was fighting the most ended up being the one who needed the most help and compassion. I was sick and had no idea.

What’s gotten me here?  I give most of the credit to keto and fasting.  I do less than 20g total carbs each day and I periodically alternate day fast (read more about that in my Fasting February series).  No cheating ever.  Not one day.  Not one bite.  Nothing.  The longer I have been keto the easier it has gotten – I can even watch The Great British Baking Show without crying.  Yes, I gave up a lot of foods, but I have gained so much.  Finally free from the endless up and down cycle of carbs and hunger, I no longer feel cravings or an emotional connection to food.  So what if I have lipedema?  I am free.

That’s the inspiration for today’s Music Monday pick, Free by Rudimental.  Yes, lipedema turned my life upside down, but lipedema also gave me back an even better life.  In one word it gave me my freedom.  The sky is the limit.  I’m flying.

Whoa, c’est la vie
maybe something’s wrong with me
But, whoa, at least I’m free

Rudimental “Free”

Sturdy Reader, what’s holding you down?  What do you worry is ‘wrong’ with you?  Could you dare to put it down?  Take a bold step with me today and, like the guy in the video, jump off the cliff and fly.

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Be the Lightning | Music Monday

It doesn’t matter what other people think about your body. It matters how you think about it, talk to it, and feel inside it.

This is the second time I’ve lost more than 100 pounds. The first time was from a place of anger, self-hatred, and body shaming. Even at my smallest I was miserable, agonizing over everything I didn’t have and everything I thought I wasn’t. I exercised too much, ate too little, and drove myself to an eating disorder. After undiagnosed lipedema made each of those pounds come back, I had a reckoning with myself. I didn’t want to wake up every day the rest of my life hating myself and feeling like a failure. No one deserves that.

With the help of a good mental health therapist and a lot of body positive books, I did things differently the second time. I threw out my scale, cut out everything and everyone who made me feel “less than”, and focused on myself. What if I stopped trying to lose weight? After a year of this work, I started realizing my worth and beauty had nothing to do with size. That’s when the universe dropped the word “lipedema” in my lap. I started to support my lymphatic system and started shedding pounds like magic, even after nothing else had worked. For the first time I feel awake, alive, and bursting with light.

I’m smaller now, but I might get bigger again later. I’m at peace with that because I’m so in love with the person my body carries around, no matter its size.

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Today’s Music Monday pick is “Rise” by the Lost Frequencies.  It has me dancing, running, and celebrating everything that has happened since my lipedema diagnosis.  It’s been an uphill battle but, wow, the view is amazing. Sturdy readers, join me and be the lightning.

Ain’t no way I’m stopping now
Gonna make my way right through the clouds
I’ll rise
I’m going to break my teeth and bear the pain
Gonna climb this mountain once again
I’ll rise
I’m feeling stronger than I’ve been
I’ll weather the storm, weather the rain
I am the lightning

Lost Frequencies “Rise”

Why I Love Alternate Day Fasting (Part #2) | Fasting February

Week two of my month-long alternate day fasting (ADF) challenge was more difficult than the first.  I struggled with some hunger and low energy toward the end of the week, but I increased my salt and got some extra rest.  I also planned a lot of decadent meals for the weekend because I over shopped and needed to eat everything before it spoiled.  Last week I wrote about ADF saving me time, but one of the other major reasons I love it is that it saves me money.  A lot of money.

When I do ADF I only eat four days a week, effectively reducing my grocery needs by just over 40%.  That translates into so much money!  Of course, you must realize you don’t need as much food and stop buying it, but you’ll learn that quick when you find yourself emptying half your refrigerator into the trash can.

On my eating days I make sure to have two solid keto meals and eat to satiety and with ADF I can afford to make those high-quality meals.  One of my favorite “feast” day meals is a big ribeye steak.  I have a decent job, but I can’t afford to eat one seven days a week.  When I’m doing ADF, however, I will sometimes have one on each of my eating days.  In fact, the high-quality fuel makes it easier to get through the next fast.

This week I had super low energy and a lot of hunger on my last fasting day.  It was the first time I’d felt like that since starting this challenge, so I paused to reflect on what was different.  I’d been busy the night before so, rather than cooking up a bunch of meat, I’d thrown some sausage and asparagus in a skillet with bacon grease and called it dinner.  That was a lot less protein than I usually get and probably explains why I felt so low on fuel the next day.  Because I was.  Don’t skimp when you’re doing ADF or another fasting protocol.  Chances are that you’ll be able to eat well while also putting money in the bank.

Even though I had one rough day this week, I have settled into a comfortable pattern with my ADF and expect I’ll likely continue it beyond the one-month challenge.  I’m continuing to lose weight, my legs feel lighter, and I’m saving both time and money.   What is there not to love about that?

Be sure to join me next week to hear how I manage attending an in-person work event on a designated fasting day.  Sign up below to make sure you don’t miss that or any other Sturdy updates.

Remember, I am not a medical professional and it’s essential that you involve your care team before and during any changes you might choose to make to your eating plan or routine. Each of us is individual and our bodies may respond differently!

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Why I Love Alternate Day Fasting (Part #1) | Fasting February

I love fasting, but it didn’t come to me naturally or easily.  Before I knew I had lipedema, I spent years counting calories, restricting, and over exercising in an attempt to shrink my body.  Of course, having an undiagnosed fat disorder made that a Sisyphean task.  Endless.  Impossible.  Or so I thought.

Doctors and researchers disagree about the best way of eating for lipedema, but I have found strict keto (less than 20g total carbs) works wonders for me and so have many other women I know through Lipedema Simplified.  When people talk about keto, however, they often also mention fasting.  Those two are the keto version of peanut butter and jelly – perfect together.  Fasting felt restrictive, however, and triggered thoughts of my dark days hopelessly counting and restricting.  I was sure it wasn’t for me, but when I mentioned that during a keto class Gail, one of the coaches from Lipedema Simplified, reached out and said she thought it could benefit me and she could support me. 

I waited three months before I finally called her, first reading up on the science behind fasting, particularly as used by Dr. Jason FungIt made sense, not as a restrictive way to punish the body but as a way to support its healing.

During our initial calls I explained my goals to Gail and walked her through my daily schedule and what I considered non-negotiable.  The big non-negotiable was an eating window.  I hated the idea of watching the clock and telling myself I had to wait.  That felt restrictive and triggering.  “I’d rather not eat at all,” I told her in frustration.  Enter alternate day fasting.

There are different ways to do it, but the rhythm Gail helped me land on is fasting the entire day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Those days I drink only water and black coffee (a transition I never thought I could make) and make sure I get enough salt.  And by enough, I mean a lot.  I literally sit with my saltshaker next to my keyboard and nibble on crystals all day.  Sounds weird until you try it.  The other four days of the week I eat normal keto meals, something Gail emphasized as essential.  Not eating enough on those days, she said, could make things worse rather than better.  She even made me text her pictures of my meals to make sure I was eating them.  We started with one fasting day a week and once I had worked up to the full three days a week, she challenged me to alternate day fast for a full month.   “Challenge” is not a word I walk away from easily, so it was game on.

I very quickly felt amazing, even more so than I do on keto, but I also had to develop a few strategies to adapt to my new routine.  First, on fasting days I have a lot more time.  This is a blessing but also a challenge for someone who tends to eat out of boredom.  I quickly realized I needed to stay busy on fasting days.  It might sound paradoxical, but I started grocery shopping those nights.  Without anything to rush home and cook, I could circle the store leisurely and plan gorgeous keto meals for my eating days.  I really found once I “flipped the fasting switch” for a day the cravings and temptation were gone, and this wasn’t as strange or stressful as it sounds.  On days I didn’t need to grocery shop I instead went to the park to exercise rather than walk around my neighborhood.  This was something I truly enjoyed and that felt like a treat on a weeknight because normally I wouldn’t have time.  Fasting days also become opportunities for “spa nights” with candlelit Epsom salt baths, relaxing music, and fancy soaps.  Basically, learning to fast meant learning to nourish my body and soul with things other than food and I came to look forward to what felt like long, leisurely evenings.

At the end of my month-long challenge, I had lost something like 15 pounds and dramatically reshaped my relationship with food and my body.  I no longer felt tempted to eat just because it was “time to eat.”  And if I did, I could recognize it as habit rather than hunger.  I had also developed a solid set of habits and practices that lowered stress and brought me joy but had nothing to do with eating.  That’s huge for someone who has struggled with weight, emotional eating, and anxiety most of her life.

While I love alternate day fasting, I don’t do it all the time.  I often do it for about a month – until my body tells me it wants a break – then go back to my regular daily keto meals until I feel ready to start again.  I don’t know how to explain how I know when it’s time, other than to say I can feel when it’s time to “tighten the screws,” which fasting does for me. 

With this post I wrap up my first week of fasting for Fasting February.  I’m down about 5 pounds (if you remember I lost nothing in January, so I was overdue) and my legs feel light and amazing.  My ketones are also through the roof, which means my mind is clear and sharp.    

Be sure to join me next week to learn the other major reason I love alternate day fasting and sign up below to make sure you don’t miss that or any other Sturdy updates.

Remember, I am not a medical professional and it’s essential that you involve your care team before and during any changes you might choose to make to your eating plan or routine. Each of us is individual and our bodies may respond differently!

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What Happened When I Didn’t Eat Dairy for a Month | Non-Dairy January

This weekend I should be counting down and stocking up on heavy cream to celebrate the end of my month-long dairy elimination challenge.  Instead, I’m tightening the screws just a little more and buckling in for at least a few more weeks.  You see, Sturdy Readers, some interesting things have happened over the past few weeks that underscore why non-scale victories are so much more useful for tracking progress on keto (and with lipedema) than the scale.

Last weekend my friend Kristin called to see how my challenge was going.  You might remember she’s the coach from Lipedema Simplified who encouraged me to do this whole thing.  I told her nothing had happened and that I planned to go right back to dairy on February 1.  “Hmmmm,” she said pausing thoughtfully.  “Tell me more about what you’ve been doing.”  I showed her my Milkademia and explained how I had, for the first time, been eating a lot of nuts.  During the first few days of the challenge, I experienced cravings and finding a long-forgotten bag of macadamia nuts at the back of the cupboard felt like stumbling upon a case of cold La Croix in the desert.  Salvation.  I checked the carbs and serving size and did a pretty good job pacing myself, but I enjoyed them so much that when that bag was gone, I bought more and I also bought a big canister of pecans, which sat dangerously on the corner of my desk.

 “You swapped one problem for another,” Kristin deduced.  “Keep going a few more weeks but get rid of the nuts and clean up your nut milk.”  It turns out Milkademia contains a few different gums and emulsifiers that may or may not cause inflammation.  Kristin’s advice was to steer clear and see if that made a difference.  Thankfully, a few days earlier, I picked up a jug of Malk.  It’s super clean (three simple ingredients) and foams like a dream, so move over Milkademia.  Malk is expensive, but comparable in price to the super clean, organic, and local heavy cream I bought before.

So, for the past week I have been off my nuts and on my Malk.  Here’s what happened.

First, my energy went through the roof.  And I mean through the roof.  I literally feel like I have a jet pack on my back on my daily walks. My speed has increased that noticeably.  I’ve even started running the last few blocks to my apartment just because I feel so good. 

Second, I went down a size in my jeans, which is a big deal when you have lipedema all over your hips and thighs.  No, I don’t think all that shrinking happened this week, but it certainly happened this month.  A few weeks ago, I needed to buy a belt.  Then I needed to start tightening it a few more notches.  Finally, this week I decided to try a smaller pair of jeans and… bam!  They fit. Same brand and same style that I was wearing before.

What didn’t happen this month?  Any weight loss.  Not a single pound.  In fact, at one point I was up more than five pounds, but I didn’t let it phase me.  As the user of this body, I know when it’s doing great and it’s doing great.  That’s why non-scale victories are so important to track and rely on rather than the scale.  I didn’t weigh myself the first six months I did keto.  Heck, I didn’t even own a scale.  Instead, I took pictures and made notes about how I felt and what I was doing, and I did something similar for non-dairy January. 

You don’t need a fancy tracker or a spreadsheet for non-scale victories.  In fact, I keep mine as a list on my phone.  Since it’s always with me I can easily add to it when I notice something and before I forget.  The important thing is to give yourself as many data points as possible in addition to (or even instead of) the scale.  Just think!  If I wasn’t paying attention to my clothes and only watching that digital display, I would think nothing had happened this month when, in actuality, I lost two dress sizes in my hips and thighs! That’s a sturdy woman win. I also want to stress bio-individuality and how different each of our bodies are. Working with a coach can be a game changer and really help you figure things out quick. Kristin and the other Lipedema Simplified coaches all offer free consultations so you literally have nothing to lose.

So, that’s it. I’ll give my body a few more weeks on my new cleaner regimen then sometime in February I’ll have a big cup of cream and see what happens.  Stay tuned.  In February I’m also planning to restart my fasting protocol.  Be sure to sign up for sturdy updates to learn why I love alternate day fasting and how it has taken my ketogenic lifestyle and my health to new levels.

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Ain’t Got Far to Go | Music Monday

Small steps add up, Sturdy Women.  This week I’ve been reflecting on life and how a couple years ago–even a couple months ago–I couldn’t have imagined where I am now.  A year ago, I was feeling discouraged with keto and thinking about giving up.  A year before that, I didn’t even know the word lipedema.  I was just gaining weight uncontrollably, unable to lose it, and rapidly losing my mobility.  But even when it was hard, I stuck with keto and I stuck with my other conservative treatments and here I am, down nearly 100 pounds and feeling so good on my walks I can’t hold myself back from running.   

The emotions are a jumbled mess of bad ass, proud, and confused.  Yes, confused.  My mind simply can’t wrap itself around what’s happened in my life and I can’t begin to guess what’s around the corner.  If a fortune teller were to predict that a year from now I’ll be a famous author or that I’ll own a hip coffee shop on the beach my response would be sounds about right.  I recently finished Najwa Zebian’s book Welcome Home (separate post coming about that) and in it she talks about how we simply don’t have enough information to plan or predict what’s going to happen very far in the future.  Sticking to a rigid plan closes us off to the other amazing possibilities lurking in the wings of what we think we should be doing.  Keep following the next best thing and you’ll probably be amazed where you quickly find yourself.

On this Monday morning I am reminding myself that more good things are coming with Jess Glynne’s “Aint’ Got Far to Go.”  Regular Music Monday fans know that I am a sucker for a funky beat and Jess delivers that from the first notes.  Do yourself a favor and put this on while you get dressed this morning.  You’ll be sure to dance your way into your brightest colors and boldest prints (how great are the wardrobes in the video?!). 

You might have more you want to do in life, Sturdy Women.  That’s ok but take a couple minutes to remind yourself how far you’ve come—probably against the odds—to get where you are right now.  Then remind yourself that you ain’t got far to go before you’re living the life of your wildest dreams. Scroll down, press play, and get your dance on this Monday morning.

I know (I know, I know)

That I ain’t got far to go

‘Cause I spent forever waiting

And it’s no longer a dream

And now I’ve landed on my feet

And I ain’t got far to go

Jess Glynne “Ain’t Got Far to Go”

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My Favorite Plant-Based Keto Yogurt | Non-Dairy January

Yesterday I made my weekly trek to Whole Foods, and I must admit, food shopping is getting harder.  Circling the perimeter, gazing at everything I couldn’t eat, I felt like the plus size girl waiting for her friends to try on trendy clothes while she grits her teeth and pretends what she really wants is another silk scarf or chunky bangle.  No, thank you I say to myself.  I don’t want those apples, or that pasta, or this Greek yogurt.  I especially don’t want that cupcake meticulously decorated like a field of spring flowers. 

The store was packed, and people jostled around me in the dairy aisle as I morosely inspected the nutrition labels on every non-dairy product I could find.  Everything seemed to have a sunflower something, a gum something, or enough carbs to send my ketosis packing.  As I worked my way down the shelf I repeated f-word, f-word, f-word in my head as I rejected one colorful package after another.

 “Are you ok?” I heard suddenly, “Do you need help?”  F-wordWas that not in my head?!  I turned and an employee stood at my elbow looking concerned.  I grabbed something at random and turned to give him my best eye smile over the top of my mask, “Got it.  Thanks!”  He disappeared as quickly as he had appeared and when I looked down at what was in my hand, I realized I had, in fact, got it.

Culina yogurt is as “plain and simple” as its label claims.  It contains exactly four ingredients: organic hand-shucked coconuts, water, agar, and probiotics.  An entire 5oz jar of plain contains just 2g total carbs and a keto-friendly 19g of fat.  Importantly, it also tastes more like yogurt than toe jam (not that I would know for sure) and has a nice smooth, thick, texture.  Culina is a little tangier and sourer than the Fage Greek yogurt I was eating before my non-dairy challenge, but if anything, that made me eat it slower and savor every bite.  The plain has a pleasant coconut flavor and I genuinely enjoyed it, which is not something I can say for many non-dairy products.

The only downside is the price.  At my Whole Foods one tiny 5oz jar cost $4 and, even though I managed to squeeze two portions out of each, I can’t afford to make that a regular part of my diet.  It’s lovely to have that option, though, and to feel like someone sees me and what I’m doing… like when that clothing brand you’ve always loved finally expands into plus sizes. 

What pleasant surprises have you had lately?  What makes you feel seen, Sturdy Women?  Drop me a note in the comments.

Be sure to check out my other non-dairy January posts and to sign up to make sure you don’t miss any great Sturdy content.

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The Keto Food that Finally Replaced my Cheese Crisps | Non-Dairy January

Today I am officially over the halfway mark in my challenge to go dairy free for a month.  It feels good and, honestly, it’s going better than I expected.  Last week Milkademia saved my luscious morning coffee from extinction, so this week I turned my attention to finding substitutes for some of my other favorite keto goodies, namely Parmesan cheese crisps.  We might have another winner!

Cheese crisps are a wonderful keto alternative for crunchy, savory, salty snacks.  They are super easy to make at home (do you own a cookie sheet?) and the whole process warms up the house with that lovely feeling like you are baking cookies.  For the first nine months of my keto journey, I was a casual weekend warrior with my crisps, but that all changed when I started coaching with Gail Straker through Lipedema Simplified. (For those who are new to Sturdy Woman, I use a ketogenic way of eating to manage symptoms related to my lipedema and lymphedema.)

Potassium is one of the important electrolytes we need to balance on keto, and I was worried I wasn’t getting enough.  I took multi-vitamins and drank extra electrolytes but had recently realized 1) most multi-vitamins don’t contain much, if any, Potassium (rookie mistake there) and 2) the amount in most electrolytes drops/powers isn’t enough.  Most people still need to get a good amount from food.  Yikes.   At that point my diet was at least 75% red meat and heavy cream, so I really needed Gail.  (And remember, I’m not a medical professional so reading this post isn’t a substitute for reaching out to your own care team.)

Gail’s first suggestion was avocados, which  actually have more potassium than bananas.  Adding those creamy, dreamy, green goodies to my diet wasn’t a hardship, but I found myself throwing away as many as I ate.  They were often too hard when I brought them home then brown mush when I got back around to eating them.  Guacamole was Gail’s solution, and it quickly became a staple of my diet.  Once a week I trek to Whole Foods specifically for the fresh guacamole made in-house.  Yes, it is priced like liquid gold, but it is clean and delicious, and I’ve never had a tub stick around long enough to spoil.  But, Sturdy Women, how much fun is it to eat guacamole with a spoon?  Not a lot.  Cheese crisps to the rescue!  Almost immediately I discovered they were the perfect crunchy, salty, vehicle to get the guacamole in my mouth.  This is a big problem for non-dairy January.  Guacamole is dairy free so, of course, I can eat it during my challenge but the first day I sat down and shuttled it to my mouth with a spoon… I felt sad about life.  And keto does not need to be sad.     

Don’t worry!  I found a great non-dairy solution.

Last week I rushed to the supermarket between waves of winter weather and found myself stuck in a crowd. The checkout line snaked down the snack food aisle and there I stood close enough to the chocolate dipped almonds and salted caramels that I could smell them through their brightly colored packaging.  I stopped having sugar cravings over a year ago, so it was more of an annoyance than a temptation, but I turned my back anyway.  Be gone demons!  There, on the opposite side of the aisle were pork rinds, nestled unobtrusively and humbly between the carb-laden potato chips and pretzels. They didn’t even have a fancy package, just a clear bag that said, “Here I am.” 

Keto friends, I had never eaten a pork rind.  Yes, I hesitated.

Pork rinds are curious creatures, simultaneously presenting as fluffy and crispy, so naturally I was curious about them as a child.  My mom, however, refused to buy them.  “Do you know what that is?” she snapped when I tried to put it in the cart.  “Pig skin!  You see how dirty pigs are.  That is dirty gross food.  Put it back.”  This stuck with me and even when I went keto and read about people eating pork rinds, I never even considered it… until now.  With a shaky hand and a racing heartbeat, I reached across the aisle and grabbed a bag, glancing over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.  The woman behind me in line looked up and met my eye.  She blinked expressionlessly, uninterested in my culinary adventures, and turned back to her phone. 

Here we go.

Pork rinds are curious creatures, simultaneous presenting as fluffy and crispy.

Wow, Sturdy Women, I have been missing out!  Ok, yes, I really grimaced as I held the first one up to my lips, but there was no need because it was crunchy, salty, perfection with none of the pig taste I had expected.  I ate a few handfuls then remembered my guacamole.  Match made in heaven.  Believe it or not, I think I prefer pork rinds to my cheese crisps and probably won’t switch back even if I decide to start eating dairy again.  In addition to taste, pork rinds also win out on cost.  They are much cheaper than store bought cheese crisps and you don’t have to worry about added carbs, like the almond and cassava flours that often sneak into cheese crisps.  Better taste and better price?  That’s what I call a winner.

Be sure to subscribe to Sturdy Woman so you won’t miss my next non-dairy update, which might be about dairy free yogurt.  Yum?

What’s your favorite crunchy keto snack?  Do you like to do something different with your guacamole or another way you get Potassium?  Drop me a note in the comments and I’ll give it a try.

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