Archive for December, 2019

If you’re a pasta lover like me, transitioning to a low-carb or ketogenic diet can feel like you’re being forced to give up your favorite foods. While I stand firmly in my position that I CAN eat whatever I want, but I CHOOSE to eat foods that are better for my body, it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss some of those “naughty” foods.

Luckily I’ve found a product that makes me feel like I’m eating pasta without all the negative effects of all those carbs: konjac noodles!

Konjac is a Japanese plant with a root that is extremely high in fiber and can be used to create noodles that have a strong resemblance to al dente pasta. Pretty much every gram of carbohydrate in konjac is fiber, resulting in a zero net carb food that also supplies lots of fiber and serves as an excellent carrier for my favorite pasta sauce – Alfredo!

skinny pasta

Skinny Pasta with Alfredo sauce, kale sauteed in bacon grease and smoked wild salmon.

I’ve tried several different brands of konjac noodle and so far my favorite is the Skinny Pasta brand. It doesn’t have the “off” aroma that I’ve gotten from some other brands and the preparation is super fast – much quicker than traditional pasta. Simply open the bag, rinse under running water for 1 minute, then heat in a pan for 2-3 minutes. Boom. Pasta.

Konjac noodles have a firm but squishy consistency, a bit like squid or octopus. There’s no real flavor to them on their own, so make sure whatever sauce you serve them with is flavorful.


  • Has the consistency of and can be used just like pasta.

  • Holds on well to sauces.

  • Fast and easy to make.

  • Zero net carb, extremely low calorie and high in fiber.

  • Fairly long shelf life.

  • Comes in a variety of shapes including fettuccine, spaghetti and rice shape.


  • Price. It is fairly expensive, which can make it costly to make to serve a whole family. The most consistent price I’ve found so far for the Skinny Pasta brand is here for the six-bag variety pack. At the current price this works out to $4 per 9.52 oz bag. Vitacost sometimes has them on sale and you can pick them up individually at a good price. Currently Vitacost has it for $3.43 per bag which is pretty darn good and I plan to stock up. If you use Rakuten and shop at Vitacost you can get money back, too! (Note: you may see the Vitacost brand konjac/shirataki noodle and it is much less expensive. Please feel free to try it, but I found the aroma a little off-putting and am happy to pay a little bit more for Skinny Pasta.)

  • Konjac noodles are not easy to cut like wheat pasta. If you don’t like the noodle length, I recommend cutting it with scissors prior to plating.

  • Some people have a strong reaction to the type of fiber in konjac. A friend of mine described the experience as turning his “colon in to a fire hose.” I have eaten a whole package myself in one sitting with no ill effects, but to test this on yourself you might try eating half a package and see how your body responds.



As far as keto “look-alikes” for high carb foods go, Skinny Pasta is pretty impressive. Assuming you don’t have the “fire hose” experience it’s a fantastic substitute. The first time I tried it I was pretty apprehensive because I knew it wasn’t “real” pasta and it made it hard to enjoy purely because of my mindset. But as my commitment to a keto lifestyle has strengthened, I’ve truly come to appreciate all it is. I use Skinny Pasta about once a month to get my Italian on!

I no longer feel pasta deprived with Skinny Pasta. No, it does not produce the “carb high” of regular pasta – and that’s a GREAT thing. You can feel like you are indulging without the inflammation, weight gain or low energy consequences.



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I love cheese and crackers. Especially with a glass of wine. But being keto, the cracker part of this equation has been challenging. I’ll sometimes use “crackers” made from fathead dough, but either they are soft like bread or if you want them crunchy they need to be dehydrated. I like to do a lot of things from scratch, but being a busy mom I often need to take the lazy route and buy stuff or I’d never get any sleep.

f6When I saw Flackers I knew I had to give them a try. Seriously, 1 NET CARB IN 10 CRACKERS? SHUT UP! But not just that – they are soaked before being dehydrated into the crackers. Many people are not aware that most nuts and seeds should be soaked (and in some cases sprouted) prior to being consumed to neutralize the phytic acid and improve nutrient absorption and digestibility.

I bought one bag of the Sea Salt flavor and one bag of Rosemary flavor so I could try them side by side. I sampled them on their own and also with a smear of Kerrygold’s Dubliner cheese wedges (yum).




Let me say up front that they smell like flax seeds. They also taste like flax seeds. This is because they are MADE of flax seeds. If you’re expecting a Triscuit or a saltine you will be disappointed.

On their own, the Flackers were nothing special. I would not sit down to binge watch some Netflix with a bag of Flackers. With the addition of the Kerrygold cheese they became much more interesting. I did not sample them alongside a glass of wine, but I imagine that would improve the experience even more.

In addition to Sea Salt and Rosemary, Flackers also come in Savory or Tomato & Basil (both higher at 3 net carbs per 8 and 5 crackers, respectively) and Cinnamon and Currant (which I do not recommend as it has 6 net carbs and 5g of sugar).


Flackers are pretty much just a bunch of flax seeds stuck together. That said, they hold up incredibly well. They are thick and sturdy and wouldn’t crumble under the weight of anything you decided to put on them. They don’t fall apart in your hand and there are no jagged edges poking your mouth as you chew. The Rosemary ones were harder than the Sea Salt flavor but I liked the taste of the Rosemary better.

The Macros

Per 10 Flackers, the macro breakdown for the Sea Salt flavor is 12g fat, 6g protein and 1 net carb (10g carbs – 9g fiber).  This makes the macro breakdown approximately 79% fat, 18% protein and 3% carb, which is pretty darn close to the keto golden ratio of 75/20/5.

The Rosemary flavor was slightly lower in fat coming out at 10g fat, 6g protein and 1 net carb, or 76/20/3, even closer, but there is only 8 crackers in a serving versus 10 for Seal Salt.

The Summary


  • Flackers are super low in carbs and fit keto macros like a bullseye

  • Organic/Non-GMO/Gluten Free/Soaked

  • Satisfying crunch

  • Sturdy construction holds up to dips and spreads

  • If you like flax seeds, you’ll be okay with the flavor


  • Price – At $5 to more than $6 per bag, Flackers are not cheap. If you want to try making your own, you might try this recipe

  • If you don’t like flax seeds, you probably won’t like the flavor (the Amazon reviews seem to indicate that you either love them or hate them)


Flackers can be purchased on Amazon if you can’t find them in your grocery store, but sometimes you can get a better price on Vitacost and get cash back if you use Rakuten. Happy snacking!

Have you tried Flackers? What did you think? Leave a comment below!


This post contains affiliate links. Thank you so much for your support!

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Before & AFTER THank you keto!

For years, I was one of those people who never had a weight problem. I was born skinny, ate everything and stayed skinny. Eventually in my mid-twenties I put on a few pounds, then by the time I was 30 I wasn’t happy with my weight. I discovered that by micromanaging every calorie and spending hours per week killing myself at the gym, I could keep my weight at the place where I wanted it.

However, I was miserable. I hated doing that and so it didn’t last. I resigned myself to being a few pounds heavier than I wanted to be. It wasn’t that bad, and I hovered between 135 and 140; certainly not terrible for my average 5’5” frame.

Then came the biggest life shift possible for a woman: I became a mother. I gave birth to our precious son just one week before turning 37. Between the hormonal changes motherhood brings on, the additional stress and anxiety that comes with motherhood, eating my way through 18 months of depression, and just plain closing in on 40, I watched my weight climb, feeling helpless, and topped out around 175 pounds.

I was so uncomfortable with my body, none of my clothes fit and I felt like a failure. My thinking was cloudy, I was exhausted all the time and my menstrual cycles were a painful, miserable mess. With my anxiety and frustration at an all-time high, I’d had enough.

I decided to do something about it!

So I did what we are all told to do. I re-joined the gym and started hitting it. I chose “healthy” foods, including a giant fruit smoothie for breakfast every morning. I spent literally thousands of dollars on personal trainers and private Pilates sessions. After about six months, I’d lost half a pound.

It shouldn’t be this hard, I thought to myself. There has to be an easier way. What am I missing?

My wonderful sister Sheri, who is ten years older than me, had been talking to me about a ketogenic diet, commonly known as Keto. Keto is a high fat, moderate protein and very low carbohydrate way of eating that has been around for ages but is currently experiencing a resurgence. I’d even mentioned Keto to my personal trainer, and he strongly discouraged me from trying it because you can “eat more” carbs per calorie, and who wouldn’t want to do that? That was fine with me, as the thought of “giving up carbs” was nearly traumatic for me.

But my sister kept dropping clues – and pounds – and sending me photos of her in her size 6 jeans.

A few of my other friends were also doing keto, and after visiting one more friend and admiring her svelte shape, I was willing to consider it. In December of 2018, I buckled down to research. I’m the kind of person that feels I need to “know it all” or at least know a lot to get started on something, for better or for worse. So I spent three weeks reading blogs, books and watching YouTube videos, absorbing everything I could about how to implement a ketogenic diet.

I was skeptical, as I had “tried low carb” before with not very impressive results. However, the more I learned about Keto – and ensuring a high amount of dietary fat – I saw how it was different than what I’d done in the past. Low carb is great, but fat is king.

The last two days in December I binged on all things carb. I stuffed my face with rice and pasta, popcorn and chips and ate every ounce of sugar in the house until I was so disgusted with carbs I couldn’t wait to get started on Keto on January 1st. I had bought my ticket for the fat train and was ready to ride.

I jumped into keto with both feet on the first day of 2019. Contrary to popular advice I weighed myself every single morning after I used the bathroom to get the most consistent possible weight, and I was rewarded. In the first month I dropped 12 pounds without even looking at a treadmill, and only visited the gym to suspend my membership.

(Just to be clear, I’m not saying don’t exercise. I’m just saying that I did not. Exercise is good for many things, but honestly pretty terrible for weight loss.)

In the months that followed, the weight loss was less dramatic, but as long as I stuck to my macros (75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrate) and limiting carbs to 20g per day, I continued dropping pounds. I overcame a few hurdles along the way, such as discovering that soy is not good for my body and I had to eliminate all types of soy from my diet to continue to lose weight. But the most amazing thing was any time I encountered a hiccup, I knew there was a reason for it. It was never that I wasn’t working hard enough. I just needed to find out what needed to be tweaked. Very few things are a big mystery in keto, and that’s why I love it so much. For every problem there is a solution, and it’s not more “effort.”

Losing weight with a ketogenic diet is the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I still shake my head in amazement. Yes, it takes planning. Yes, it takes good decision making. So does anything else that is worthwhile. But it is far easier than starving my body with so-called healthy foods and spending hours on a treadmill, only to gain the weight all back when I’ve worked myself to exhaustion.

I am currently happily coasting in the 130’s. I expect to put on a few extra pounds over the holidays, and I’m okay with that because they will easily come off in a week or so whenever I’m ready to lose them. I’m considering seeing if I can get back into the jeans I was wearing when I met my husband 19 years ago (yes, I still have them!) and that would be about 125 pounds. But to be perfectly honest, I’m so happy with how I look now and feeling so good, it would be more of a fun experiment than something I feel I “need.”

Other benefits that I have noticed since going keto:

  • In my very first post-keto cycle, my wretched menstrual cramps went away. Not got better, not got shorter. They went away completely and have not returned.

  • I have more energy.

  • I have more focus.

  • Food no longer controls my life. I’m not hungry all the time, obsessing over my next meal.

  • My anxiety is easier to control.

  • With intermittent fasting, I have more time because I spend less time preparing food and eating. (More on IF in another blog post, but in my opinion it’s an essential component for getting the best results from Keto.)

Trying to explain how Keto gave me my life back is almost like trying to describe a spiritual conversion. It literally brings me to tears. I am so intensely grateful for my sister not giving up on me, and also for all the bloggers and YouTubers out there that helped me on my journey. I’m going to list some of my best resources below both for general Keto education and for recipes.

If you are struggling with your weight, give Keto a chance. Keto done right is incredibly healthy, fulfilling and energizing. I fought it for months, but just a few weeks on the fat wagon made a believer out of me.

My top favorite Keto resources:


Dr. Eric Berg’s YouTube channel. This man is amazing! He will answer all your Keto concerns – just search his channel and he’s probably made a video about it. He explains what is happening in your body in great detail, and his info was and is the most valuable resource I have found on a ketogenic way of eating.

Dr. Ken Berry’s YouTube channel.Also a top-notch resource. Dr. Berry addresses a lot of trends and current topics and answers a lot of common questions. Love him!


completeketogThe Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners by Amy Ramos. I love this book because it uses a little target to show how closely each recipe aligns with the “perfect” keto macros of 75/20/5.




ketoeasyKeto Made Easy by Megha Barot & Matt Gaedke. Better known as the “Keto Connect Couple” these two share lots of great and simple recipes to help you incorporate keto into your life. I especially love the raspberry muffins and the hemp heart chocolate chip cookies (yes, you can have your dessert and eat it too!)



Craveable Keto by Kyndra Holley. So many great dishes in this book, but her 2-minute Mayonnaise is worth the price of the book. I made the Crockpot Cauliflower Mash for Thanksgiving and even my carb-loving mashed potato head husband raved about it.



Low Carb Yum – a blog I use recipes from often, including THE best chocolate cake EVER. When I tell people it’s low carb and sugar free they don’t believe me


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