Sometime around 17 December, I kick started my Keto diet with the aim to reach my desired weight of 55 kg. A bit of background – the last time I was 55 kg, it was in 2002 during my postgrad days in Sydney when I was spending 2-3 hours in the gym daily.
I must admit that I was somewhat nervous about going on a zero (or 20gm carb only) diet as I love my pasta, bread, cakes, sugar, caramel lattes and Tealive drinks. Going Keto would be cutting out on all those things and just switching to full-on fat + protein for sustenance.
It also meant giving up on cookies…or at least finding suitable alternatives. As I progressed into my diet, I realised that the lack of carbs in my rather sedentary diet is not a bad thing. Carbs are great if you have an active lifestyle or your job requires you to easily access energy. But for most of us who spend a good portion of our time sitting in front of the computer, all those carbs just end up translating into fat.
I also realised that the sweet tooth and sugar cravings are learnt and developed after years of being used to eating sweet stuff. The typical Malaysian diet is chock-full of sugar and carbs – those teh tariks and nasi lemak topped off with kuihs and cordials. Once I removed that out of the picture, my taste buds got a chance to reset and once was “just sweet enough” is now too sweet. More importantly, I functioned better with less sugar in my system.
Of course, there is that occasional desire to chomp down on something sweet. I scoured the Internet in search of a sweet treat that is keto-compliant and found a suitable recipe using coconut flour, dark chocolate, eggs and sugar substitute. It is not a cookie per say – perhaps because of the way I shaped this little babies (too large and thick). They turned out to be more cake-like instead of the fudgey-chewy cookie that I had envisioned. A little bit like rock buns actually. At a calorie count of 120++ with under 5 gm of carbs, it’s not all that bad of a once-in-a-while treat.
That aside…this trial of baking with sugar and flour substitutes had me scrambling for a new baking mat. Nonstick/greaseproof paper don’t seem to work very well – I struggled to remove the cookies from the paper. It is back to the drawing board with this. I have a few recipes on the side to try out so am keeping my fingers crossed that I find something that is more like a cookie rather than a mini cake.