Blog Posts

The Most Versatile KETO Muffin Recipe!

Goodbye Summer!

With Fall coming in next week, that means one major thing for me. It’s officially BAKING season! The weather might not be cooperating yet, but I’ve had my oven going on Sunday mornings for the last few weeks – baking goodies for the week ahead. It’s just that what I’m baking this year, is slightly different than it was last fall. Now, it’s all about finding low-carb and gluten-free options to satisfy our family’s sweet tooth. Sweet Teeth? I don’t know.

That being said, I’ve tried a BUNCH of recipes. I was trying to find the most versatile, Keto-friendly muffin recipe that I could use different ways – stirring in different ingredients or adding different toppings so that each week we could have something new. After some tweaking, this has been my favorite so far. It’s just a super simple, basic muffin batter that has endless possibilities!

Here’s my take on it:

Easy-Peasy Plain Muffin Batter

Servings: 12

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Softened Butter
½ C Sweetener of Choice
4 Large Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
½ C Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 ½ C Almond Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt

Instructions

Whip the butter and sweetener together with a mixer (or in a food processor, which is what I use.) To this, add the eggs, vanilla, and almond milk. Mix. In a separate bowl, combine the Almond flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. I find it best to let the batter sit for about 10-15 mins to thicken up at this point. (Usually while I am preparing some other ingredient to mix in.)

At this point, you can add in so many things – ¾ cup of Chocolate chips, berries, nuts, you name it! You can also top these muffins with just about anything you like. Pour batter into 12 lined muffin cups. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 mins.

Scroll down for some of my ideas for add-ins!

This recipe (plain, with no add-ins) makes 12 muffins and is approximately 125 calories per serving (one muffin), 4g total carbs, 11g fat, and 5g protein.  There is about 2g of Fiber per muffin, which makes these 2g net carbs each.

**The nutritional facts mentioned in this article are approximate, and were based on the most accurate information I could find online and may vary. Always double-check your own ingredients.

These are cinnamon roll muffins! For these, I just add 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon to the batter. Once they have baked and cooled, I make an easy icing to drizzle on by blending 2 tbsp softened cream cheese, 2 tbsp heavy cream and 2 tbsp powdered sweetener. The kids love these!
I call these Strawberry Fiber muffins. For these, I add in a few tablespoons of ground flax seed, chia seeds and 3/4 C of sliced strawberries.
These are Coffee Cake muffins and they are my absolute favorite! For these, I just use the basic batter with cinnamon added. Then before baking, I make a topping to sprinkle over the tops by blending in my food processor: 1/2 C Almond Flour, 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour, 1/4 C Sweetener, 2 Tsp Cinnamon and 1/4 C Butter. The tops on these come out crunchy, munchy and so yummy!
These are Chocolate Chip Muffins. All I did for these was stir in 3/4 C Lily’s Brand Chocolate Chips and they were GREAT!. Chopped nuts are delicious in these as well. However, as you can see – My chocolate chips sunk to the bottom! This is a problem I have regularly with flour-less baking. If you know of a solution for this, let me know in the comments!

Happy Fall, Y’all! Thanks for reading!

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Summer Weight LOSS Update (with before/after pics)

(pictured above, before – early February 2019 and after – June 24, 2019)

Hi everyone and HAPPY SUMMER!

I hope you’ll forgive me for not posting in a bit, but we have been a little preoccupied with, well, life. About a month before we got out for summer, I was approached by the Principal of the girls’ school and asked to come help out, assisting with Kindergarten as a temporary employee. I jumped at the chance to do that because I love kids, and I love any opportunity to be near my own kids, even if it just means working down the hall from them. However, doing so left me with very little free time to devote to the blog. (Or much time for anything really after work, aside from keeping myself on track with my diet/lifestyle change and helping the girls with their homework in the evenings.)

Next thing we knew, summer was upon us! Every summer, our granddaughter, Kyleigh comes to stay with us (she lives over 6 hours away) and spends anywhere from a few weeks to a month at our house. We LOVE having her here visiting, and I like to keep us as busy as I can doing all the fun things and making memories before she goes back. If you’d like to see some of what we’ve been up to, there’s a new post under Family Life with a short video/slideshow of some of our activities as a family!

But I am here to tell you – I have not given up on this blog or my Keto lifestyle. Through it all, I’ve stayed on track, and everything is going pretty well. I can officially say that I am now down 35 pounds since I started this journey! I can’t be more excited about that! This summer has been one of the best that I have had in years! No more sitting cooped up in the house, feeling sorry for myself, like I have done way too much of in the past. I feel better, health-wise than I have in years and feel better about myself than I probably EVER have in my life. I still have a ways to go before I reach my goal but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and that is a fantastic feeling!

That being said, I’ll still have to keep today’s post short and sweet (we just got back from the pool and it’s almost time to start dinner) but I wanted to share this little update and before/after photos for those of you who are not following me on my personal social media pages. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them here or use our Contact page! We love hearing from our readers!

Enjoy your summer, friends!

KETO Strawberry Cheesecake Fat Bombs (Recipe)

Happy Tuesday everyone! It’s been a little bit since I’ve had time to post an update. Over the last month, we have celebrated Easter, had 2 birthdays (my own and Aidan’s), taken a few trips out of town, and had Spring awards shows at the girls’ school. We have been busy!

I have managed to stay on track with my Keto diet aside from one “cheat” on Easter. Full disclosure: I had a cupcake. A real, sugary, cupcake made with actual flour. I didn’t regret it afterwards, although I think I’ve definitely lost my taste for super sweet foods because it really wasn’t all that great. It did however kick me out of ketosis, and after that, it took me about 3 days to get back in. My weight also jumped up 2 pounds, but those came right back off and I think that may have been the result of some water retention. All of these things combined, made me want to get right back on track with my Keto lifestyle. And I did.

Immediately after finishing the cupcake.

The biggest downside to my little cheat was that I noticed some carb cravings had returned over the next few days. To combat this, I decided to make myself a Keto-friendly dessert that I could indulge in until those cravings pass again.

Using ingredients I already had on hand, (it’s strawberry season here in Virginia!) I decided to make these Strawberry Cheesecake Fat Bombs from Perfect Keto, and they were a life-saver during this time! They are the perfect treat for these warm spring days, without all the guilt or the yucky feelings after.

If you’d like to try these yourself, Click here for the recipe!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

KETO Crepe Pancakes (Recipe)

Happy Good Friday! Here at the Jones House, the girls and I started our day off with a super easy and simple recipe I found for 2-Ingredient Cream Cheese Pancakes over at Barefeet in the Kitchen.

Made by just whipping together 4 eggs and 4 ounces of cream cheese, these pancakes are definitely more like crepes but they are so yummy, even the girls asked for seconds!

I did decide to add 2 extra ingredients to my pancake “batter,” just because I knew my girls would be expecting something sweet. I added in part of a packet of Stevia sweetener. (It helped that I had just opened a packet for my coffee and I don’t like to use the whole packet anyway.) I also added one teaspoon of vanilla extract.

These pancakes are a little more difficult to flip than regular ones, but are so much lower in carbs. It all comes down to the timing of the flip, so the first few I made were not very pretty. But isn’t that always the case with pancakes?

Of course, we did dress ours up a little bit with some sliced strawberries and some sugar-free chocolate syrup. For the syrup, if you want total control of the ingredients, you can use this simple recipe I found at The Sugar Free Diva. It’s so easy, you can use your favorite Keto-friendly sweetener and it keeps in the refrigerator for weeks. Another alternative would be to melt some Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips and drizzle that on your pancakes. We hope you try these recipes and love them as much as we do!

Here are all the links related to this post:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However, I would never link a product here that I did not like or use.)

2-Ingredient Cream Cheese Pancakes Recipe

Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup Recipe

Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips from Amazon

Egg “Cups” (Recipe)

When Chuck is working on the weekends, the girls and I like to have brunch together. But I also like to keep it simple because when we are home on the weekends, and especially if the weather is bad (and it has been often, lately) this is when we catch up on housework. Having a mess to clean in the kitchen isn’t ideal when I want to focus on other rooms of the house.

Long before starting Keto, I discovered Egg “Cups,” and it’s one of those favorites that is totally Keto-friendly so I can continue having it now. This simple meal is great for when you’re wanting to make something you can eat on the go, or if you just want a quick breakfast at home.

Egg Cups, going in the oven!

The prep is super simple. Basically, you spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. Sometimes I will even add a strip of parchment to each reservoir in the pan. Then, line each cup of the pan with deli meat or lunch meat of your choice and fill the “cups” with eggs. I do this by cracking an egg directly into each cup of the muffin pan, using one whole egg for each. (No dishes other than the muffin pan!) Season and top each egg cup with cheese or other toppings and Bake @ 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. It gets no easier than this!

Since I cannot take credit for this little recipe in any way (thanking Pinterest for this one), I wanted to link you to the original one that I started with, from Dinner at the Zoo. However, keep in mind that this is a very basic recipe. These Egg Cups are super customize-able and the possibilities of toppings are almost endless. You can also use just about any deli meat you want, to line the cups. In my pictures here, I used deli-sliced Roast Beef because it’s what I had. They were delicious but I do prefer ham. I feel the need to tell you – don’t try Chicken deli meat for this recipe. For some reason and I don’t know why, eggs and chicken do NOT go well together. Go figure.

I usually make an entire pan, even when its just the 3 of us, and save the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for an easy breakfast we can warm up on another morning. It’s also easy to make these for a crowd.  These cook so fast, that I think it would be really fun to set up an “Egg Cup” bar with prepped ingredients! This way, overnight guests (or just Breakfast guests) can add in their own toppings before popping the entire pan in the oven. A few minutes having coffee with friends and breakfast is ready!

I think these would be great topped with tomatoes or with shredded spinach added in. You could also add in peppers and onions, and cooked, crumbled bacon or sausage before baking. I have even made these in the past with leftover steak, chopped into small pieces and provolone cheese!

Super simple Egg Cups, all done!

Let me know in the comments if you try these and what you think of them! Here’s the original recipe I began with: https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/ham-and-egg-cups/

Remember, if you’d like more Recipe ideas, you can see some of our family’s favorites by clicking HERE. For meal planning ideas, check out some of our “A Day of Food” posts by clicking here.

Currently, all updates and recipes are also accessible on the menu above, under Keto Life.

Thanks so much!

Keto Creamy Hazelnut Mocha (Recipe)

It’s been a beautiful, lazy weekend here so far, fueled by lots of coffee. One of the biggest upsides to Keto to me is being able to make creamy, decadent coffee drinks with no guilt. I consider coffee a treat, a snack and sometimes even dessert. Occasionally, an iced coffee even works for me as a meal replacement but maybe I shouldn’t brag about that. I typically drank my coffee black, with sugar before starting Keto. Super simple, no frills. Little did I know back then, that just those teaspoons of sugar were really adding up and practically wrecking my health.

It’s so amazing to me how my tastes have changed since starting this new way of life. I used to want my coffee as black as I could get it and basically thought it was ruined if creamers were added. Now, most mornings, I take my coffee with Heavy Whipping Cream and no sweeteners. Other times throughout the day, I make iced coffees and use sugar free syrups. These may not be considered strict Keto, but it’s one of my little indulgences. For this, I love to use Torani Sugar Free Syrups. These can be found in most grocery stores and also on Amazon. Here’s a link for a large bottle of my favorite flavor, the Hazelnut. Torani Syrup, Sugar Free Classic Hazelnut, 25.4 oz

My new love for creamy coffee drinks led me to coming up with this drink that I could have as a dessert. Disclaimer time though, this little recipe I’m about to share is so ridiculously simple, but so great after a meal when your sweet tooth is asking for a little something.

This is a black coffee, with a whipped hazelnut and chocolate topping that melts into the coffee, creating a delicious, creamy Mocha. This is an easy recipe with the ingredients listed for only one serving. However, this would be easy to make multiple servings by increasing the amounts of the topping ingredients and brewing a whole pot of coffee.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However, I would never link a product here that I did not like or use.

Creamy Hazelnut Mocha – KETO

Servings: 1

Ingredients

1-2 Tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream

1 Tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 Tbsp Sugar Free Hazelnut Syrup, I like Torani Brand

8 oz Fresh brewed Hot Black Coffee

Instructions

Whip together the heavy cream and cocoa powder, with a mixer, until blended and soft peaks start to form. At this point, add in the sugar free hazelnut syrup and continue mixing until stiff peaks form. Spoon this over the hot coffee and enjoy!

I hope you love curling up with this drink and a good book as much as I do!

This recipe is approximately 85 calories per serving, 1.6g carbs, 7.8g fat, and 0.6g protein. 

**The nutritional facts mentioned in this article are approximate, and were based on the most accurate information I could find online and may vary. Always double-check your own ingredients. I also have to tell you that due to the simplicity of this drink, I am certain someone before me has probably posted a similar method of making this drink. I came up with it while experimenting in my own kitchen.

Keto Lunches and Snacks On-The-Go

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I don’t know about you but for me, some days, it can be a struggle to find time to eat. Even as a stay-at-home Mom, between the chores and the errands, it seems like it’s time to pick the girls up from school before I know it. A lot of days, it can be this time of day before I’ve even had a bite to eat.

Of course, I’m still getting in my coffee. I don’t think I could function well enough to do any of this stuff without it. A lot of days, my app can look kind of funny with only coffee logged for breakfast and lunch. The coolest thing about Keto is that I mostly still feel ok, because I’m fueling my body with fats and I’m still getting those in, via my coffee. (Usually in the form of heavy whipping cream – so delicious!)

The downside is that when you’re skipping meals, especially without even realizing it, sometimes you can also be ignoring hunger for so long that you hit a point where you just can’t do that anymore. Sometimes, not even another 5 minutes! Maybe it’s just me, but the next thing I know, I’m scrounging for something I can throw together super-fast before I have to run out the door. Or even better, something I can run out with in my hand and eat on the road! In my pre-Keto days, this was when I did my most unhealthy eating. For me, it was literally anything goes, as long as it was FAST. Raise your hand if you’ve ever stolen your kids’ school snacks!

Now that I am living a Ketogenic lifestyle, it can seem harder to find things that can be thrown together really fast. For me, the answer to that is usually leftovers from dinner the night before that I can nuke for a minute in the microwave. And of course, salads. I keep my produce pre-washed and ready to go in my fridge for these crunch times. But salads can get boring and sometimes no matter how delicious yesterday evening’s dinner was, you just don’t want THAT.

That being said, today I thought I’d feature some of my favorite, on-the-go snacks and lunches.

These are some of the lunches and snacks I’ve had over the last few weeks. You’ll notice pepperoni showed up twice. That’s a super simple and affordable option for when you are absolutely out of time. There’s also a spinach salad, which is very simple, made with just some leftover chicken and ranch dressing.

Another favorite of mine is lettuce cups. For these, I use romaine lettuce because it holds up to fillings pretty well. In one of these, I filled lettuce leaves with just cream cheese and a few sliced pimento-stuffed Manzanilla olives. This is so yummy and so easy! Some weeks, I make-ahead egg salad because both the girls and I love it.

The very last option looks like a total cheat, right? Cheesecake for lunch? Well, I’m here to tell you my friends, that you can have cheesecake for breakfast if you like with this super easy and delicious Keto Cheesecake recipe from Wholesome Yum .(<click) While you know by now that I don’t usually follow recipes to the letter, that one really needs almost no changes. The only thing that I do differently is omit some of the sweetener because since cutting sugar from my diet, I’ve noticed that my sweet tooth has almost gone away. That cheesecake is so delicious and creamy that for me, it almost doesn’t even need the sweetener. I use half the amount it calls for, for the cheesecake filling and I use none in my crust.

You’ll notice that there’s another easy option that seems to be missing from my snacks and lunches, and that’s nuts. But for me, that’s not nuts, (ha ha, see what I did there?) because aside from using almond flour occasionally, I typically do not eat a lot of them. Although they are high in protein, nuts tend to be high in carbs.  I like to reserve those carbs for other options. But that’s just me! If you do like them, a handful of almonds could totally be added to any of these options.

I hope you enjoyed this today and found something useful in it. I think any of these would be easy to take to work, and most of them can also be made portable if you find yourself in a rush like me.

Our family sincerely hopes you has a great remainder of the week! I’ll check back in soon!

What I’ve written here is not meant to be advice or a plan that you should follow. This is simply a personal update of my own and maybe something you can take ideas from. Always consult your doctor before making changes to your diet.

Update, Post Induction Stall Syndrome (And a day of food)

Hi everyone! Just a quick update on this sunny Friday! I hope you all have had a great week and are looking forward to an even better weekend!

I think I’m officially over the hump! By whatever name you want to call it – the “healing phase” or Post Induction Stall Syndrome (PISS – a better acronym could never have been created), I am here to tell you –  IT SUCKS! In my first few weeks of living the Ketogenic lifestyle and strictly following the diet – weight dropped QUICKLY for me. I lost about 12 pounds in the first month. I was elated and expected it to continue falling off at the same rate. I thought, I’ll be in a size 6 by summer!  Then, in my 4th and 5th weeks, my weight fluctuated. I’d lose a pound, gain 2; lose 2 pounds, gain 1. And on and on the cycle went, keeping my weight basically at a standstill and it felt ENDLESS. I really started feeling discouraged and even wondering what changes I could and should make to get out of the stall. Egg fast, anyone?

That being said, I am aware that the numbers on a scale should never be my main focus. But, let’s be real here. When you start a new way of life, with weight loss being one of the main goals – it’s near impossible not to get up every morning and look for those little victories. And it can be maddening when you feel like you are doing all of the right things, with little to no results. Even for a short period of time. It’s also hard not to compare ourselves to others who are having faster results.

Fortunately, after doing a little bit of research, I found out that this is the exact time when the biggest changes really start to happen. This time is what a lot of people refer to as the healing stage. Here’s a little graphic I found on social media that for me seems to be pretty accurate.

I do not own the rights to this image and could not find information on its originating source.

It’s so good to know that this time is not even technically a stall. What I’ve found in my research is that early on when beginning the Keto lifestyle, our bodies immediately start dumping retained water. That water apparently can be a little heavier than I realized. I was in ketosis, and I knew that I was, but I was NOT fat adapted yet. This means that my body had not yet figured out how to use fat for fuel. In the 4th-6th weeks (longer for some), most people become fat adapted and this is when weight loss really picks up

I’m going into my 6th week now and I feel safe to say, that’s what’s happening to me now. Hooray for fat adaptation! Yesterday morning, I was down a full 2 pounds. (The lowest I’ve been since starting this and also the lowest I’ve been in years) This morning, when I checked again, I’m down another ½ of a pound! A smaller victory but a victory nonetheless!

I’m taking all of this as a sign that I’m on the right track and should keep going as I have, without any real changes. I’m so happy that I’ve been able to do this, without any special products, supplements or paying for any plans. I think it really just comes down to the quality of the food. My grocery shopping bill is cheaper than ever, (junk food costs more than I realized) and we’re all eating great as a family. I’m so pleased with this new way of eating!

Thanks for taking the time to read this update! As soon as I have new information or new results, I’ll check back in and do this again. If any of my opinions change on this diet and lifestyle, I’ll update with that as well. In the meantime, here’s another day of food. (scroll down) We’re still keeping it pretty simple over here at the Jones house but there has not been one complaint, yet!

If you like these “A Day of Food” posts and would like to see more for meal planning ideas, you can find all of those indexed by clicking here.

If you’d like some Recipe ideas, you can see some of our family’s favorites by clicking, HERE.

These are also accessible on the menu above, under Keto Life.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However, I would never link a product here that I did not like or use.)

Super easy make-ahead Chia Pudding with Black Coffee. I use this recipe: https://www.gnom-gnom.com/overnight-keto-chia-pudding/
Southwest Salad with leftover seasoned ground beef, Spinach and Romaine Lettuce, Avocado, and Sour Cream, sprinkled with Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend (for lunch)
Baked Salmon with Steamed Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan and Butter (for dinner)

Our favorite TV Show!


For the last few months, we have all been watching an old show that Erin and I both grew up on – The Waltons. This is an old classic but the family values that the show espoused in the 70’s are even more important to reflect on today. The humor and wit in this show are timeless! It is still a great show to watch as a family and get some good life lessons in for the kids, as well. It helps that the girls really seem to love this show about Depression-era life on a mountain, as much as we did years ago. Another plus side is that it has been so long since Erin and I have watched it that we have forgotten the plot of most of the episodes!

Thanks to being able to stream the show with Amazon Prime Video , we are able to enjoy this classic again.

Of course, we all have our favorite characters. Mine would definitely be Grandpa, I think Erin enjoys Olivia and the girls love all of the children. However, we are all huge fans of Grandma! Her directness is something we need more of and her moral compass is hard to find in today’s world. Who would have thought that a television series from my youth could still have such an impact on young people today?

I think we need more shows like this, that are truly centered on family values. I know I can’t wait for tonight’s episode!

Thanks for taking the time with me today and I hope your family will decide to visit Walton’s Mountain again sometime as well. If you don’t have Amazon Prime Video, you can get it by clicking here:

Chuck

P.S. Good night John Boy!!

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However, we would never link a product here that I did not like or use.)