Keto Gumbo with Shrimp, Andouille sausage and Chicken

 

Hey Keto Family!

Since going Keto 18 months ago, I’ve really missed Red Beans & rice.  Whenever we got the itch for Cajun food, that was our go to.  But since beans are a “no-no” on Keto, we’ve had to find another way to scratch our Cajun itch!  And this definitely does the trick.  I does take a little time to make (about 45 minutes) but its mostly simmer time and it is super easy to make!

I meal planned this week and decided I really wanted to try coming up with a Keto Gumbo recipe, because I was wanting something Cajun with a little spice.  Then, last night when I asked the Hubby what he wanted for dinner, he announced that he wanted to go out for Cajun food.  We were totally on the same wavelength!  But unfortunately, we don’t have any Cajun restaurants near us, so going out wasn’t an option.  But this totally did the trick!

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil4 stalks of celery, diced1 onion, diced1 green pepper, dicedAndouille sausage, chopped 1 lb chicken, dicedShrimp (bout a handful!)1 Tbsp Creole seasoningA few shakes of Slap Ya Mama seasoning6 oz. tomato paste32 oz. chicken broth

Let’s Make It:

Heat oil in a stock pot.  Add celery, onion and green pepper.  Cook for about 10 minutes until soft.  Add chicken and cook chicken through.  Add the remaining ingredients and heat through.  Its that easy!

How to serve:

It can be eaten by itself, but we like to serve it over riced cauliflower.  The cauliflower balances out the spice nicely and gives the illusion of Gumbo over real rice! I’ve tried ricing my own cauliflower before…I don’t recommend it.  It is messy.  I was finding cauliflower all over my kitchen for days.  I highly recommend buying pre-riced cauliflower.  You can find it fresh in the produce section or frozen in the freezer section.  They are both great options!

So, I’m not someone who likes a lot of spice.  Just a little bit is enough for me.  That is why I only add a few shakes of the Slap Ya Mama seasoning.  You can easily adjust the seasoning to fit your taste preference.  The Hubby loves things spicy, so he adds more seasoning to his own bowl.

I don’t have macros calculated for this meal, because I am at a point in Keto where I am no longer tracking my macros.  I don’t feel it is necessary anymore.  I know what I can eat and stay in ketosis, so I don’t worry about it.  So, I apologize that I didn’t get macros calculated for this!  Hope you guys enjoy!

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Keto Mug Cake ~ 3 ways!

 

Some Keto’ers are awesome and able to deny their sweet tooth altogether.  I am NOT one of those people!  I have spent my Keto life finding sugar free and low carb ways to cure my wicked sweet tooth without derailing my progress and weightloss.  Enter mug cakes!

If you’ve never seen keto mug cakes before, they are super easy, super fast ways to cure that ugly sweet tooth!  They only take a handful of ingredients and cook in the microwave in about 60-90 seconds!  Even I can wait that long!

I have tried so many recipes for mug cakes over the last 18 months.  I have tried some great ones (3 of which I’ll share with you now) and some not so great ones.  So I’m sharing these tried and true mug cake recipes to save you the heartache of trying the not so great ones!  Today, I’m sharing with you Snickerdoodle, a chocolate chip and a Chocolate Espresso Mocha mug cakes.  They are all equally great (but my heart truly belongs to the Espresso one, as I am a huge coffee lover)!

You can find step by step instructions on my YouTube channel.  I’m always ridiculous to watch…I’m not a very organized chef and I’m super messy.  But its always a good

Find my YouTube Instructional Video here!

Ok, onto the recipes!

Snickerdoodle Mug Cake

Ingredients:

Topping:

2 tsp. Lakanto sweetener (or sweetener of your choice)1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cake:

2/3 cup almond flour2 Tbsp Lakanto sweetener1 tsp baking powder1/4 tsp cinnamon1 large egg2 Tbsp butter2 Tbsp water1/4 tsp vanilla

This recipe makes 2 mug cakes (or one very large mug cake, that even I can’t finish).  Mix topping ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.  Mix all cake ingredients in a bowl until well blended.  Divide into two mugs.  Sprinkle half the topping on each cake.  Put cakes one at a time into the microwave for 60-90 seconds (time will vary based on your microwave).  Then top with a little heavy whipping cream and enjoy!

Chocolate Espresso Mug Cake

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder1-2 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules2 Tbsp Lakanto sweetener1 egg1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream1/4 tsp vanilla1/4 tsp baking powder1 tsp melted butter

This recipe makes ONE mug cake.  Mix all ingredients together and place in a mug.  Put mug in microwave for 60-90 seconds.  Its good by itself, but I like adding Nekstella sugar free hazelnut chocolate syrup to the top!

Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

Ingredients:

2/3 cup almond flour
2 Tbsp Lakanto sweetener
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp vanilla
Sugar Free Chocolate chips or crushed Sugar Free chocolate bar (I use CocoPolo)
This recipe makes 2 mug cakes (or one very large mug cake, that even I can’t finish). Mix all cake ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Divide into two mugs. Sprinkle with a few extra chocolate chips. Put cakes one at a time into the microwave for 60-90 seconds (time will vary based on your microwave). Then top with a little heavy whipping cream and enjoy!

That really is it.  They are so simple and so delicious!  They take no time at all to make and are super easy to throw together!  Hope you guys enjoy!

The Best Keto Cheesecake!

The best Keto Cheesecake served with whipped cream and ChocZero dipping chocolate!

So, after almost a year and a half of eating Keto, I finally made my first Keto Cheesecake and it was divine!  I won’t bore you with any long stories.  We’ll just get to the cheesecake recipe, because it’s totally worth it!

If you want a step-by-step tutorial on how to make it, check out my YouTube Video here!

Five easy ingredients is all it takes to make this little slice of heaven!

Crust:

6 ounces of pecans, crushed
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp sweetener (optional)

Filling:

3 8-ounce bricks of cream cheese
3 eggs
1 cup of sweetener (my favorite is the Lakanto shown above)

Let’s make it!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mix your crushed pecans, melted butter and 1 tbsp. of sweetener together until it makes a pecan paste.  Push your crust mix into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.  Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

While the crust  is cooking, make your filling!  Whip the 3 bricks of cream cheese with a hand mixer until a little fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add sweetener and mix well.

Once crust is cooked, cool for about 10 minutes.  Then, add filling to the crust and bake for 45 minutes.  Check for doneness, you may have to cook for additional time, just check every 5 minutes until cake is firm but just a little jiggly!

Once done, cool completely in the fridge for about 4 hours.  Then top with your favorite Keto toppings and enjoy!

Macros per slice:

I cut the cheesecake into 10 slices:

Calories: 403, Net Carbs: 5.4, Fat: 40.9, Protein: 8.5

Keto Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Its finally feeling like autumn here in the Midwest, so its time for PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!!!

I love pumpkin.  I pretty much will eat pumpkin anything! Yes…I’m that girl. This is the first Keto pumpkin recipe that I decided to try and it is flat out amazing!

I just took a basic cream cheese pancake recipe and doctored it up with all things pumpkin!  It totally hit the spot.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Waffles

20170928_093107308809580.jpgIngredients:

2 ounces cream cheese
2 eggs
2 TBSP pumpkin puree
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of baking soda

Let’s make it!

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth!  Pour onto a hot waffle iron and cook for 4-5 minutes.  So simple and so delicious! I prefer unsweetened waffles with a sweet topping.  But if you prefer a sweet waffle, you can add a sweetener of your choice!  (You can also easily turn these into pancakes by dropping them onto a hot griddle!).

Toppings:

You can top with whatever you like.  I was out of sugar free syrup, so I made some pumpkin spice whipped cream to go on top and topped with a few pecans.  Seriously amazing! It was a less sweet version, but the pumpkin flavor really popped!
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Go now and enjoy all things autumn!

This recipe made 2 waffles!

Macros per waffle (no toppings): Calories: 172.5, Fat: 14.2g, Total carbs: 4.6, Protein: 8.35g

5 Ingredient Keto Coconut Flour Pancakes! 

First and foremost, I have big news!  I’m on YouTube!  I’ve posted a few videos so far, but this is my first recipe video!  Check it out!

Check out my Keto Pancake video here!

Since adopting a Ketogenic lifestyle 9 months ago, I’ve been missing pancakes.  I’ve tried a ton of recipes and none of them were quite right.  So last week, when Mr. Oh.hello.Keto mentioned that he really wanted some pancakes, I decided to go on a quest to find a great Keto pancake recipe!  And I think I’ve found it!  This one really hit the spot.  And while it isn’t the exact same as regular pancakes, it’s pretty close.  Last week, I added some pecans and homemade heavy whipping cream and they were delightful!  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did here!

The base for this pancake recipe is only 5 ingredients and it is so super simple!

Ingredients:

4 eggs4 ounces cream cheese4 Tbsp coconut flourpinch of baking powderpinch of cinnamon

Beyond that, you can add all kinds of delicious things to the batter or on top to make them your own! Add berries, nuts or sugar free chocolate chips!

Let’s make it!

Basically, throw all the ingredients into your blender and whir it up!  (It’s so stupid easy, you almost don’t need a recipe!) Your batter should be thick, but pourable.  Pre-heat your skillet to medium heat.  Pour pancakes into skillet,  this recipe will make about 8 pancakes!  Cook them a few minutes on each side.  Check out my YouTube video linked above for more details!

Next step: Enjoy the heck out of your pancakes!

Macros for 4 pancakes:

Calories: 460, Fat: 34 grams, Net carbs: 10 grams,  Protein 20 grams

These are a little higher on the carb side, so we do reserve these pancakes for a treat.  They are definitely not an everyday meal.  But when you are craving traditional pancakes, they are a huge lifesaver that you can still fit into your Keto diet as an alternative to a high carb short stack!  Just be sure to adjust your carb intake for the rest of your day!

Don’t forget to check me out on Instagram @oh.hello.keto and on YouTube!

15 Keto Friendly Lunches For Those On-The-Go!

When discussing my Ketogenic Diet with people, I usually hear things like, “I don’t have time to prepare meals.” or “I’m just not sure what to eat when I’m away from home.”  I’m here to tell you that eating on the run is actually extremely easy with a Ketogenic Diet and you don’t have to eat out or spend a ton.  I work part-time as an X-ray/CT tech and I love my job.  But I often get called in for shifts at the last minute, meaning I need to pack up my meals to go with me with short notice.  Sometimes, I just need lunch but sometimes it’s a 12 hour shift and I need to pack up 3 meals to take with me.  And if I’m totally honest, packing lunches has gotten easier since starting Keto!  I always try to keep a combination of things in fridge/pantry that I can throw together to make a decent lunch!

Ok, so the title says 15 lunches, which is true.  I gave you 15 “concepts” for lunch on-the-go. Realistically, with all the possible combos of roll-ups, salads, dips, and “lunchables” there are a lot more than 15 options here.  Whether you want a hot lunch or a cold lunch, there are plenty of easy options for packing a Keto Friendly lunch.  Here is a quick list of things that I pack for my Keto lunches.  Read on for more detail about those lunches!

First off, stocking your fridge and pantry is important.  If you don’t keep Keto friendly foods around, then failure is probably imminent.  There are certain staples that I have on hand at all times.  A few of those things are; lunchmeat (Boar’s Head is a great brand), cheese, bacon, avocado, pepperoni, nuts, eggs and cream cheese.  Rarely, am I ever out of these things.  There are more things, like Heavy Whipping Cream and butter…but those don’t pertain to my lunches.  I’m thinking maybe a Stocking a Keto Pantry/Keto fridge post might be another good blog post for the future!

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Second off, having a good variety of containers makes packing lunch a breeze.  I like having a variety of different shapes and sizes.  It makes packing up leftovers or lunches much easier when you have some different ones to pick from!

On to the Lunches!

lunches

Hot Lunch Options:

Leftovers are always a great option.  I usually can count on at least one meal of leftovers each week.  However, I have a house full of men/teenagers, so leftovers aren’t always an option!  Breakfast for lunch is always a good option as well.  I almost never make a single package of bacon.  I always make at least 2, bacon holds really well in the fridge and re-heats okay in the microwave, as do sausage links and patties.  I will also share a secret; if you add bacon grease to your scrambled eggs, they re-heat very well in the microwave without drying out!

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Skillet Pizza and/or Pizza bowls are another great option! Basically the same thing, just one is done in the microwave and one in a skillet! I like to keep mine simple, for skillet pizza, I simply heat shredded mozzarella in a non-stick skillet on medium heat.  I add my favorite pizza toppings on top (usually pepperoni and black olives…YUM!) and heat for about 3-5 minutes.  Then slide onto a plate and slice!  (Pizza bowl is the same thing, just thrown in a bowl and into the microwave for about 1:30 minutes). So yummy and totally kills pizza cravings!

Cold Lunch Options:

Cold lunch is usually the way I go when I take lunch to work.  It’s just easier than having to wait in line to use the microwave and eat up part of my lunch hour!  So I’ve come up with lots of great, tasty options to just grab right out of your lunchbox!

Keto “Lunchables” are one of the easiest things I throw together.  They really are just a bunch of Keto goodies thrown together in a container.  Normally, I try to include one protein and two fats in my “lunchables”.  But really, I just throw together whatever sounds good at the time! Options often include: roll-ups (see below),  lunchmeat, bacon, pepperoni, summer sausage, beef sticks, salami sticks, chicken, cheese cubes or sticks, avocado, olives, nuts, hardboiled eggs, or pickles.  Those are things that I always have on hand, so they are easy to grab and throw into a container!  You can really add whatever you like!

Roll-ups are another one of my favorites that are easy to throw together and can give you a lot of variety.  The basis behind the roll-ups is taking a deli meat and rolling it up around some tasty Keto fillings!  Some of my favorites are:

  • Italian roll-ups: turkey, pepperoni, cream cheese and pepperoncini peppers.
  • Ham roll-ups: Ham, cream cheese and pickle
  • California roll-ups: Turkey, cream cheese, cucumber and avocado
  • Bagel roll-up: turkey, cream cheese, smoked salmon and “Everything But the Bagel” seasoning
  • The options are endless when you choose various meat, cheese and veggie combos!

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Salads are also an easy option.  Green salads are great options, just make sure you choose Keto friendly veggies and dressings!

Egg salad, tuna salad and chicken salad are all great options.  They are easy to make ahead and keep well in the fridge for a few days.  Egg salad pairs surprisingly well with pork rinds for a good lunch! (If you aren’t a pork rind person, don’t worry…this is the combo that will convert you into a pork rind lover!  I never ate pork rinds until I tried them paired with egg salad at the urging of a friend).

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Bacon, cheese & avocado are all matches made in heaven.  It really doesn’t even matter how you combine them, it’ll be good!

  • A great way to pair bacon and avocado is to just mash avocado and scoop it up with crispy bacon.  Ah-may-zing.
  • Cheesy, bacon avocado bites are another great option.
  • Bacon wrapped cheese sticks are another good choice.  You can use bread cheese or string cheese.  Simply wrap in bacon crisp up in a skillet (you can bake at 400 degrees, but the bacon doesn’t get as crispy).  These can be made ahead of time and eaten hot or cold!
  • Bacon wrapped avocado.  These are worthy of their own post, and eventually will probably get one.  One of the single best Keto recipes out there.  Wrap avocado slices in bacon and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Friggin’ amazing.

Cheese crisps and dip are another great option.  Cheese crisps are super easy to make and give you a nice crunch somewhat similar to chips (although not exactly…but they make a great conveyance for dip).  Take your favorite cheese and slice thin into squares.  Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes before packing up or serving.  These are great with any Keto friendly dip; Rotel/sausage dip, Buffalo chicken dip, guacamole and French onion dip are some of my favorites.

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Pepperoni chips and guac! So, I was skeptical about pepperoni chips when I first saw them.  They sounded, well, just weird.  But I can assure you that they are amazingly delish! Super easy to make too.  Put pepperoni on a paper towel (helps absorb the grease and crisp them up) and place in the microwave for a minute.  They come out crispy and delicious!  They are amazing with mashed avocado or guacamole, but they also do well with other dips I have already mentioned above!

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Deviled eggs are another great option, if you have the right containers.  Don’t try sticking these in Ziploc baggies, it’ll be extremely messy!  But if you have hard Tupperware like containers, you should be good!  Loaded deviled eggs are one of my favorites.  Make deviled eggs as normal, then top with some of your favorite Keto goodies (cheese, avocado, bacon, etc,).  Phenomenal.

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Shrimp Cocktail is another good one!  For your Keto cocktail sauce, just mix up a little Reduced Sugar ketchup with some horseradish sauce.  The benefit of mixing your own is you can make it as spicy as you like! I love horseradish…so mine usually gets pretty spicy!

And don’t forget dessert! Sugar free Jello, Heavy whipping cream and pecans or berries all make great options if you need something a little sweet to get you through your day! I don’t normally eat dessert with lunch, but sometimes it just sounds good! So it’s always nice to have some ideas to throw in!

Hopefully, some of these ideas help you come up with some of your own creative Keto lunches.  Enjoy!

Getting through the Keto Flu

Anyone can be successful with the Keto Diet.  Even those people who give you the side eye and say “I could never live without bread/potatoes/pasta, etc.” when they learn about the Keto way of eating.  Anyone can successfully become Keto adapted and discover the many benefits of living on fat.  However, nature has put one huge obstacle in our way…the dreaded Keto Flu.  It’s different for everyone.  There are varying symptoms and varying degrees of severity, dependent on your body’s reaction to carbs, your previous diet, etc. Today, we’ll discuss what the Keto Flu actually is, what causes it, some common symptoms associated with it and some things you can do to help ease the symptoms.  The most important thing to know about the Keto Flu, is that it passes.  And when it does, your body becomes an amazing fat burning machine and you begin to reap all the amazing benefits of a Ketogenic Diet that everyone talks about!

When you eat what we consider a Modern Diet, your metabolism runs on carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates are easily metabolized energy that your body can break down and use pretty readily.  What it doesn’t use, it stores for future use as fat.  However, in today’s world, with an abundance of cheap, carb rich food, those fat stores are never needed, so we gain weight.  But, for those that choose a low carb or Ketogenic diet, the steady flow of carbohydrates stops abruptly.  Your body will use up it’s stores of glucose, and when that is gone, your body will begin to use those fat stores for energy.  But, switching from sugar burning to fat burning has some unique side effects known as Keto Flu. Hang in there, getting Keto Flu means that your body is switching gears. Its actually a good thing!  It may not feel great at the time, but you’ll come out on the other side of the Keto Flu as a energy driven, fat burning machine!

A common misconception is that the low energy, headaches and withdrawl type symptoms are just the way life is when you don’t eat carbs.  Carb eaters will tell you this, time and time again, but it simply isn’t true.  Keto Flu is a temporary condition that only lasts while your body is switching fuel sources.  It is normally short lived, and if you are one of the patient individuals who are able to wait it out, you are wildly rewarded. The benefits of the Ketogenic Diet are abundant.  I have more energy now than I had when I was eating a high carbohydrate diet.  I’m a runner and have found that my endurance is so much higher on a fat fueled diet than it ever was on carbs!  I no longer hit the dreaded “wall” when I run!  I have also been rewarded with better sleep, clearer skin, higher mental clarity and so much more.  Don’t listen to those who are misinformed.  Do your own research, talk to people who have been on low carb or ketogenic diets for some time.  Those who have been eating this way, for at least several months, will all talk about the abundance of energy that comes with it! If you don’t know anyone personally, hit up social media!  Our Keto community on Instagram is amazingly supportive.  Ask questions, look for advice, most of us are happy to help!

Everyone ends up with different symptoms and different severities of those symptoms.  There is no way to tell how the Keto Flu will effect you, until it does.  Common symptoms are things like lightheadedness, nausea, extreme fatigue, headache, muscle cramping, cloudy thought processes, and diarrhea.  In some extreme cases (most likely due to electrolyte imbalances) it can result in temporary high blood pressure and heart palpatations.  I had a history of heart palpatations before starting Keto and they returned with a vengeance during the Keto Flu.  But, I am happy to report, that in the seven months that I have been eating Keto, that was the only episode I have had and I used to get them often!

My experience with the Keto Flu was not epic or life changing.  I had all of these symptoms off and on over a period of about two weeks.  It wasn’t like the “real flu” where BAM!  your sick.  It was gradual, so gradual in fact that I really didn’t realize I had been hit by the Keto Flu.  I was just chalking these symptoms up to carb withdrawal (which is essentially what is happening).  I didn’t even realize that at the time, it had a name.  It wasn’t until it passed and I became Keto adapted that I really realized that I had been hit by the Keto Flu.  The biggest things I noticed were low energy, lightheadedness and diarrhea.  But not all at the same time and not all at once.  They came and went periodically.

The best thing to do for the Keto Flu is just to wait it out.  You’ll be very tempted to eat some carbs just to ease the suffering.  DON’T!  Just be patient and symptoms will subside.  Beyond that, there are a few things you can do that will help!

  1. Eat fat.  As your switching energy sources, eating enough fat in your diet will help boost your energy a bit.
  2. Hydrate! Drink your water.  Staying hydrated is always a good idea and makes you feel better!
  3. Vitamins.  Take a multivitamin.  If you are lacking anything in your diet, taking a multivitamin will help!
  4. Electrolytes.  Find a good electrolyte source.  A good source will have Sodium, Chloride, Potassium and Magnesium.  They all play important roles in body functions.  I won’t go into that here, but I will eventually do a detailed post on supplements!
  5. Take it easy.  You can exercise through the Keto Flu if you are dedicated.  But don’t beat yourself up if you take it easy for a few days.  Your body is about to turn into a fat burning machine…so a few days off from the gym isn’t gonna hurt!
  6. Be patient!  One of the most important things to remember is that time will pass and the Keto Flu will go away.  You may be tempted to stray from your Ketogenic Diet, but don’t!  It will be get better!  I promise!

Just remember that not everyone gets the Keto Flu.  Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones.  But if not, keep in mind that there are some things you can do to help lessen the severity of your symptoms.

I remember being pretty miserable for a short time while going through the Keto Flu.  Both the Hubby and I were starting Keto together, so just think of all these symptoms x 2!  He seemed to have such an easy time with the transition, which frustrated me even more when I felt like crap.  I remember standing in the kitchen, screaming into the living room. “This is horrible!  Why am I doing this to myself? I’m just gonna go eat a cupcake!!!” I was seriously throwing a tantrum like a 2 year old who was just told they couldn’t eat a treat!  It seems ridiculous now, but at the time my feelings of angst were totally real.  The only other thing I’ve ever been addicted to was nicotine.  I was a smoker for many years and giving up smoking was hard.  REALLY HARD.  But giving up carbs was worse. Carbs are everywhere!  But, the important thing to take away from this story, we made it through the Keto Flu and life got good!  REALLY GOOD!  We no longer have mood swings caused by low or high blood sugar, our energy is off the charts (the Hubby now gets up at 4:00 am to hit the gym before work!), and it does get easier as time goes by!

Hopefully some of this is helpful and will convince you to keep pushing through the Keto Flu!  Look for support and try a few of the things above, but most importantly keep going!  You can totally do this!