My apologies to Flowerdew and Cathy, for being so slow to respond to comments. Maybe it's my advancing age and decrepitude, but time seems to fly, along with my attention span. This post is partly designed to be a response to you, ladies.
I went off plan while we were in Tahoe over Thanksgiving. Even though I did most of my own cooking, I had the oven from Hades, coupled with 8,000 feet of altitude. Most of what I tried to make was a disaster. My fat consumption dropped considerably, coupled with an increase of protein, and a general feeling of "blah-ness" from the altitude. I admit that I am a flat-lander.
Now at home, I have tried my own special combination: I make one large batch of protein shake and use half for breakfast and half for lunch. I use equal parts of coconut milk and unsweetened Almond Breeze vanilla, two scoops of protein powder, two teaspoons of leucine powder (BCAA), two pumps of a Torani sugar-free syrup, and ice. Then, for dinner, I have a heavy-on-the-fat meal that is average for protein. For example, last night, it was my Best Half's awesome pot roast, with a gravy made from all the fat and juices, and some whole milk, thickened with just a touch of potato starch. I had a tiny side salad, loaded with full-fat salad dressing, olives, and bacon, with an Atkins coconut bar for dessert. One night, it was four pieces of fatty bacon (the scraps that the grocery stores sell as "seasoning" bacon), and four egg yolks cooked in 3 T. of butter. In the morning and before bed, I have tea or half-caff coffee, with Splenda, heavy cream, and coconut oil. A new thing that I've noticed, to add to the list of positives, is that much of my joint pain is gone. I couldn't sit through a movie without my right knee becoming so stiff that it would make me limp. That doesn't happen now. I gained five pounds over Thanksgiving, but, after this week, I'm down 3 1/2 of those pounds. I'm not going to say that the transition has been as smooth as butter (yum). When I first re-committed to low-carbing two years ago, I had a gall-bladder attack that almost made me change my mind. Too many years of low-fat eating took its toll. If the gall-bladder sits idle, the stones form. Then, when the gall bladder has to function, to squeeze out bile into the intestinal tract for fat metabolism, the stones try to pass, also. Excruciating pain, much like kidney stones. Switching to an 80/15/5 program didn't cause gall bladder problems, since I was already eating saturated fat, but my GI tract took about a month to get used to the greatly increased amounts. "Things" are starting to calm down, but sometimes I feel like I'm doing a spoofed "Alli" commercial. I like the way that I feel with this program. I have the energy to exercise, my mood is better, I don't have to obsess about food all day, a la Weight Watchers. (Those poor people sit through every meeting talking about food, for heaven's sake.) Packing a lunch is a snap, and breakfast is portable. My craving for sweets is practically gone, unless I've allowed my fat intake to slip, or my protein to get too high. Even though I still have twenty pounds to hit goal, my fat isn't strapped around my upper abdomen, which makes for a more youthful silhouette. At my age, I need all the "youthful" that I can get. The Bionic Broad out.