Monday, May 3, 2010

Cook. Weigh. Eat.

We knew the hype: the Ketogenic Diet is, by every measure, a huge amount of work.  Compared with the ease of taking medication, this rigid, medically-supervised, therapeutic diet, is not for everyone.  If the diet controls a child's seizures, it's best to continue for two or more years. Hoping for such success, but having no real idea what we were getting into, we committed for the long haul.  Should I mention Steven and I eloped seven years ago?  I'm sensing a pattern.

Once we got home, it was Game On.  I was eager to deal with two issues right away.  The first was to improve on the Bowl of Mayonnaise with Dash of Chicken meal.  The second was to speed this process up.  At the rate I was preparing the meals, all I did was cook-weigh-eat, cook-weigh-eat.  Back then, Sebastian was my only child and only job.  As I cleaned up one meal and started weighing out the next, I wondered how people managed to do anything else in life besides this diet.  One day I might want to leave the house.

I started burning up the Keto Calculator, the software that makes it all possible.  Among other things, it's a huge database of brand-specific food nutrition facts, categorized into Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins, and Miscellaneous.  To create a meal, you click on the category, scroll through the foods and add your selection. Once you have assembled your ingredient list, the quantum physics begins: calculating the amount of each ingredient while balancing the rigid parameters of your child's ratio with conventional notions of a palatable meal.

Sebastian is on a 2.5:1 ratio.  Each meal is about 292 calories,  27.52g of fat, 6.67g of protein and 4.34g of carbohydrates. He has over a hundred meals now in the Keto Calculator, and each one is broken down like this.  I spent so many late nights working on recipes, trying to bend these rigid numbers into something delicious...I might as well have been working on thermodynamics.

Asparagus, Bacon and Feta (2.5:1)
For this meal, I weigh out the tofu noodles first. Chop up fresh tomatoes, the steamed asparagus and two slices of crisp bacon.  Add to noodles.  The butter and feta go on top so they melt over the rest of the ingredients.  Season with salt, pepper and a little dried basil.  Warm in microwave 20 seconds.  Fits in a 1 cup bowl.

For dessert, I mix the cream and coconut oil into a shake and flavor with a few drops of chocolate flavored Stevia.

Prep and cooking time: about 7 minutes, leaving us plenty of time to play outside after lunch.  

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