There are days I hate being on a ketogenic diet. Since my pancreas doesn’t care what I think,
I have to work around that.
Luckily, a reader asked for some ketogenic bento ideas. This got me to thinking more creatively, and
that means meals that don’t make me grind my teeth in frustration.
Building a Good Ketogenic Bento
A good keto-friendly bento has these qualities:
Simple to make
Low in carbohydrate
Tasty and satisfying
Relevant to the day
Simple to make
If something is too difficult, or if it takes too long,
you’re not going to do it consistently.
For me, I want a bento that takes less than five or ten minutes to make. This means I often make use of dinnertime
cooking to throw in something for the bento. I have a small countertop oven that can roast
any meat you care to name pretty easily, so I’ll often put something on while I’m
making dinner. After dinner, before I
clean up the kitchen for the night, I prep the bento.
The bento above was unusually time-light. I took six minutes and thirty-eight seconds
to make it.
Low in carbohydrate
That’s a “duh!” moment, right? What you really want for a good keto-friendly
bento is not to be using up too much in the way of carbohydrate, but still
ensuring you’re going to have a nutritious meal. You’ll notice the strawberries and red
peppers are on the higher end of the carbohydrate scale for this meal. You do need to decide how much you want to be
eating per meal, but I find that raw veggies help make a nice lunch, and
strawberries round it out in a way that’s satisfying.
Hormel – Turkey Lunch Meat, 1 slices
Hormel – Roast Beef Lunch Meat, 1 slices
Hormel – Smoked Deli Ham Lunch Meat, 1 slices, 56g
Cheddar cheese, 2 oz
Broccoli, flower clusters, raw, 0.5 cup flowerets
Peppers, sweet, red, raw, 0.5 cup, chopped
Strawberry, 0.5 cup, halves
Kens – Creamy Caesar Dressing, 1 tablespoons
A low carb bento must be tasty and satisfying
You’re not going to be happy with your lunch if it doesn’t
taste good. You might like different
vegetables and fruits than I do. Many
people who enjoy avocado
find this a good way to make a meal both tasty and satisfying. Fat helps you to feel satisfied, hence the
cheese and dressing dip in this meal.
Also, you need to get enough fat in a ketogenic diet. It’s a lot of your nutritional balance.
Relevant to the day
When you make keto-friendly bento, it’s a good idea to give
some thought about what kind of day you’re going to have. Will you be able to heat up your lunch? Will you need to be able to eat it with your
hands, such as when you’re on the road.
This is an excellent lunch when you’re on the road. You can eat it quite neatly without a fork if
Instead of a sandwich – verboten on a ketogenic diet, I made
lunchmeat wraps. I take a slice of
lunchmeat with a small, narrow slice of cheese, and wrap the meat around the
cheese. You can experiment a lot
here. A combination my husband and I are
extremely fond of is sliced roast beef wrapped around horseradish cheese. If you like flavored or specialty cheese,
these can be paired well with different deli meats. Pepperoni wrapped around fresh mozzarella is
excellent, as is turkey and smoked gouda.
On days that I might not be traveling, or have time to sit
down at a table like a civilized person, a salad is a common keto-friendly lunch.
When you think about the principles behind the bento you
want to make, you’ll find it is easier to be creative and still stick to a diet
that suits you.
What ideas do you have for a keto-friendly bento?
whatever your definition of “too long” happens to be
Do you ever wonder why people stay in dysfunctional relationships? If you’re on Facebook and feeling increasingly unhappy about being trapped because it’s the only way your social circle contacts each other, you don’t need to ask that question. You already know.
You’ll make excuses for it.
You’ll look for the benefits.
Worse, you might actually get some sort of service or support you don’t
think you can get anywhere else.
Why Facebook is Bad
I broke up with Facebook recently. When I say I am done, I mean I deleted my
profile and everything.
I did it for a lot of reasons, but yeah, the cynical contempt of Facebook’s users by the people who own it, and the corruption behind it, are major motivators. To be frank, I was feeling mistreated.
But it’s more than that direct and blatant manipulation. Our interactions are being guided by
advertisements, for pity’s sake! How you
connect to a friend on Facebook who is going through significant emotional
trouble is being used as data to encourage you to look at advertisements and
Beyond the very nature of the platform, it is also how Facebook
is encouraging us to communicate.
Or think we’ve communicated.
Many of us post updates on our lives from Facebook and think
we’ve communicated with our friends.
I am increasingly of the opinion that’s not what’s really
happening. What I think is really
happening is that we’re curating newsletters. Well, that and forwarding other people’s
There is a value in curated newsletters, yes – if you’re a
public figure, or manage a large interest group of some sort. I’m not, and I don’t… Not anymore anyway.
Oh, sure, sure, social media can make you feel like
you are some sort of celebrity and that mass communications are the best way to
interact with your fans. And therein
lies the danger.
Please don’t interpret this as saying Social Media is Evil
and Wrong. It’s not. I’ve used the Internet as a way to meet and
develop friendships since the mid-nineties. That means I’ve been using online
communication for about half my life –more like 70% of my adult life. I’ve developed many genuine friendships
on message boards, discussion groups, and other forms of social media.
I think the disconnect comes in when you’re not
messaging people and having conversations personally. Sure, sure, commenting on posts can become
a conversation. So often, however,
you’re not really doing that. You can
acknowledge what you saw with no conversation at all, just by pressing that “Like”
button. It’s more like Show-n-Tell. While it has its place to give ideas for
conversation, are you getting out on the playground and playing Superheroes,
too? Chances are that you’re not.
What I learned from quitting Facebook
I do spend a lot of time online. Yes, some people noticed when I left a
platform. So, what happened, and what
did I learn?
I worried a couple of friends.
A friend of 30 years or so actually went so far as to text
my husband, afraid that something Really Bad had happened to me when my profile
disappeared. Yes, I sent him a
reassuring email and explained my choice.
Another friend thought I’d been mortally offended by something she’d
said that I’d commented on and was worried about it. I wasn’t.
I told her so. It’s all good.
I had friends comment on the importance of reaching out.
Like me, some of my friends were bullied when they were
young. One of the scars this leaves is: Do
they really like me, or are they just being “nice?” This will make you slow to reach
out. Within 18 hours of deleting my
Facebook account and telling people I knew about it, three people made comments
about how they were afraid of leaving Facebook because they wouldn’t be
convenient to contact and that they’re bad at reaching out. More interesting, every single person I
contacted responded with happiness that I did reach out and turned out to need
that contact in some way or another.
I’m there. I’m good
at reaching out to my parents and son every week. That weekly call and the visits are a pretty ingrained
habit that I like. Not so good
otherwise. I’ve been conscious of this
problem for years. The reality in my
case is that Facebook seems to satisfy the “reach out” urge (which is an
incredibly low and small signal for me, anyway), and it’s not doing my
relationships any good. Like putting artificial sweetener in a hummingbird
feeder, I was getting the feeling of being socially satisfied. In reality, I was probably socially starving
There are people who think if you’re not thinking about and
reaching out to people urgently, then those people aren’t really important to
Sure, sure, if you’re neurotypical, don’t have problems with
mental illness, or whatever, maybe. That
ain’t me. I’m even willing to bet it
ain’t some people who are reading this.
Because I am Not Normal, I wound up writing up a spreadsheet
with a bunch of relationships I have and how often I really oughta be
contacting them. I know it sounds cold,
but I figure it’s no worse than having an address book because it’d be impossible
to remember everyone’s contact info. I want
to maintain my relationships. I will
forget or let time get away from me. I
have a tool now to keep me from doing that.
Had friends initiate reaching out
Once I started reaching out, people reached back. That was cool. What was better was that they also started
initiating contact, too.
I’m subscribing to a few newspapers and reading more magazines.
Facebook, as a news source, is terrible. We all know it, and we get lazy, letting the
news articles forwarded to us be our primary news source. Sometimes I feel like it’s about as reliable
as supermarket tabloids. If I’m eye-rolling
that, I don’t think I have any business with the Facebook News Feed as my
primary news source.
I’ve actually sucked it up and paid for a few online news
sources. I’m going to be dedicating some
time each day (haven’t decided how much yet) to reading them. It won’t be as much time as I spent screwing
around on Facebook, but it’ll be something significant. Being Informed is important, surely. But I don’t think that circulated articles
on a platform known to manipulate the feed is a way to go.
Not that I think that commercial soi-disent journalism is
exactly pure, either. But choosing a few
different sources that I read, myself, should help.
I’ve been integrating this with a Time Tracking Experiment.
Just because I have Border Collie Brain Syndrome and need to give my brain something to do, I decided to track every minute of the day and how I spend it. Yes, it is a tedious pain in the butt and no, I won’t be doing it the rest of my life, but I think it has given me some really important feedback on how I spend the finite moments of my life and what’s worth it to be spending those moments on. The utterly anemic amount of meaningful contact with real people became blisteringly obvious in less than a day, though, and was a factor in this Leaving Facebook thing.
I have not gotten rid of (nor do I want to) all online socialization
Get real. I’ve been
socializing at least in part online for nearly 25 years. I do enjoy online chats, even if those chats
have moved to a different device or platform.
Email? Look, I was a
prolific correspondent even as a teenager before online communication was
commonplace. I was always writing some pen
pal or other a letter, and even passing notes to my friends in school. Writing is a favorite form of communication
for me (duh!), and yes, I write emails even more than I subject my
longsuffering correspondents to my atrocious handwriting.
I am feeling less depressed.
I’d been going through a bad period because of Reasons. Facebook was Not Helping. It’s not that things aren’t…. tense in the
world right now. They are. Hey, I’m still reading the news and not
sticking my head in the sand.
Here’s the deal.
Advertisements revolve around making you anxious, then offering a
solution for that anxiety. That is
specifically how advertising is designed.
Facebook’s revenue comes from selling your data and advertising. It is specifically designed to make
you anxious. Once I could see the
fnords, it helped me realize there are other ways to stay informed about the
world, interact socially with geographically diverse friendships and not use a
platform that is hurting rather than helping.
The relief was almost immediate. As in, “my fitness watch that measures stress
showed it” immediate.
I’ve done more “real writing.”
Just as my low bar for feeling satisfied with social
interaction was tripped with Facebook, my somewhat higher bar for feeling
satisfied about writing was also tripped.
I’m spending more time on articles – researching more and
editing a bit more.
What Can You Do?
You might or might not want to leave Facebook. I have Views, but you don’t have to share them. That said, I want to challenge you a
bit. Are you talking to your loved ones
outside of a “Post and like” format? I’m
not saying you have to call ‘em on the phone.
I get that you might prefer to communicate in textual format. Boy, howdy
do I get that!
But, instead, try this:
Email your friends personally.
Text them if you have text capabilities.
Talk to them by voice or video call if that’s
As you do, think about your interactions and how they work
in social media v. a one-on-one conversation. Do you get a feeling of the whole artificial
sweetener v. nourishing nectar when you interact? How are your stress levels? What is making you happy?