KISS - Keep it simple, sweetheart
Now that I am back from vacation I am feeling that I have to get back to my meal planning, grocery shopping, macro counting, water drinking and general regimen of being a good Keto girl. Hold on — not so fast.
When overwhelm invades your life
I have a whirlwind of things going on right now and I am trying to prevent a state of overwhelm. First of all, after thinking, planning and talking it out, I have decided to retire on August 3rd from my job of 22 years. Most people, when they retire, have an end-date in sight — maybe as many as 2–3 years before they retire. My decision came rather abruptly after spending those 12 weeks at home caring for my husband. Although he has entirely recovered, it made me evaluate my life and my future, and what I want from it. I want to enjoy being with my husband, children and grandchildren. I want to enjoy my home (and clean it!). I want to devote more time and mental resources to Granny Keto. In essence, I no longer want to spend 15 hours a week in a car to commute to a job that robs me of more than 40 hours a week (I don't get paid for lunch so I actually am there more than 40 hours a week!). In the olden days, the job enhanced my life; now it just robs me of it. So, with no financial planning whatsoever and one trip to the Social Security office, I made my announcement. There are so many things to do in the next few weeks, I am dizzy thinking about it. What is going on at work and my needing to train someone doesn't even contribute to the overwhelm. It is the decisions we have to make regarding health insurance — and scheduling all the doctors' appointments I need while I still have the plan I am on! It is going to the bank, another visit to the Social Security office, calls I need with the accountant and yes — even a real estate person is coming in this weekend to evaluate the house for the market. Oh, and I am only just now recovering from jet lag!
When you're overwhelmed, go back to basics
So when I was on the plane coming back from Italy (I hadn't even announced my retirement at that point) I was thinking about all the great Keto cookbooks I have and all the recipes I was going to make. I would be back on track in no time, being the shining model of who Granny Keto should be. Yeah, right. Okay — so I am still the shining model, but my cupboards are bare. No cooking or recipes here. What I have been doing is having my coffee and a simple protein for breakfast (if I am hungry). For lunch I have been taking a nice large salad with whatever protein is left from dinner the night before, or else I make a salmon or tuna salad. For dinner we have been having salad and simple grill. No casseroles, no (Keto) baked goods — not even a cooked vegetable. You can't get more simple than this, and it is working to head off an overwhelm situation. Anything more than this, any other expectations for myself than this, and I probably would fall into the abyss of "eat anything that is fast and quick."
So my advice to all you Ketonians, overwhelmed or not: You can keep it simple and still keep Keto. You do not need anything fancy. This also affords another layer of simplicity in your life, which is that you don't have to stress out about macros. If you do love to count then letting yourself ride the wave for a while might actually stress you out: weighing, measuring, counting and tracking can be self-soothing behaviors if you are a data-driven person, and I wouldn't want to get in the way of that. But, if you keep your meal plans simple enough you can let that go if you have enough to do in your busy life. However, if you find the counting to be self-soothing (in times of turmoil sometimes the tracking is all you have control of!), keeping things simple will also help keep the tracking simple.
Whichever way you go — tracking or not tracking — please acknowledge your needs and if things are getting to be too much for you, the answer is not to run to McDonald's or Dairy Queen. The answer is to keep your Keto meals simple. Be your own sweetheart!