suggestions, recipes, and ideas for staying low-carb


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Chicken Stir Fried with Garlic and Ginger Vegetables

This is a great recipe that is full of protein, with a moderate amount of carbs. You also get in a lot of nutrients from the veggies. It's a great alternative to ordering take out, which is so unhealthy. Enjoy!

The ingredients that you will need for this recipe are:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 chicken breasts, tenderized and cut into strips

3 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
3 large scallions
10-12 ounces iceberg lettuce
3 large radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shredded carrots (to add color)
16 ounces fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

The first step to this recipe is to heat the olive oil in your pan. Once heated, place your chicken strips in the pan and cook all of them. Put them on a plate with a towel to soak up any extra oil.

In a second pan, heat the canola oil over medium high heat. Add in you garlic and ginger. Cook these for no more than 1/2 a minute, while stirring. Add in the scallions, lettuce, radishes and carrots. Add in the spinach in small amounts until all has been added. Continuously toss the mixture with tongs. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, until your spinach has wilted. Add in the soy sauce and sesame oil, and give it one more toss.

Place the mixture on plates, and lay a few chicken strips on top. Serve, and enjoy.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Just How Many Carbs Can I Have?

There are different varieties of the low-carb lifestyle. Some people will tell you that it is best to stay under 30 carbs per day. Others will tell you to limit yourself to 60 per day. While neither of these ideas is wrong, listening to someone else's opinion is.

Lowering your carb intake in any way is going to show some results. Going to 60 or less carbs per day, when you used to consume over 300 carbs per day is going to help you shed some pounds, as well as get your energy level to rise.

Lowering your carb intake to 30 per day, or less, is a more drastic reduction from the 300 plus carbs that you may have been eating. This will cause you to see more dramatic results. You will notice almost immediately the weight coming off.

It is true that lowering your carb intake in any way is going to give you desired results. You are not going to see 50 pounds melt off miraculously overnight. You will see, however, gradual and desired results at a steady pace.

Remember, though, that you need to do the plan that works best for you. You must stick to this way of eating to have success. "Cheating" on this "diet" will detour your weight loss. With that in mind, weigh out your options. Even though the results may be better with 30 carbs or less, you may not be able to adhere to that. If this is the case, you need to concentrate on 60 carbs or less, because in the end, you'll have a higher success rate than constantly failing at staying below 30 carbs daily.

Good luck. Here's to your health.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Make a Habit

Research has shown that in order to make something a habit, you must do it continuously for 21 days. After 21 days, something becomes automatic. That means, if you can just get through something that is difficult for three weeks, it gradually becomes less difficult. Eating habits become just that, habits, after only three weeks.

The low-carb way of life can seem tough at first. It is something that you have to get used to, but once you are, the difficulty is gone. You get so used to eating in that certain way, that it becomes second nature to you. Your body gets so used to having limited carbs, that when you consume too many carbs, you feel sick. Your energy level drops as well.

Another noticeable change is the way that something with higher carbs than you are used to, tastes. For example, sweets now taste like pure sugar. Pasta makes you feel like you have eaten glue. Everything high in carbs tastes noticeably different.

It just goes to show you that the low-carb lifestyle is the best choice for many people. Stick with it for three weeks, and it becomes a great habit.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Santa Fe Chicken

For this recipe, you will need four chicken breasts that have been seasoned with salt and pepper. You will also need two cups of mozzarella cheese, finely shredded. Next, you will need a small onion and a green bell pepper. Finally, you will need a small can of Ro*tel.

The first step to this recipe is to tenderize your chicken, and season it. Place your chicken in a shallow baking dish, and bake it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on its thickness. (If you want to cut your baking time, you can saute the chicken breasts first, and cook them in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, instead.)

While your chicken is baking, you can be dicing your onion and bell pepper. When the chicken is close to finished, with 7 to 10 minutes of cooking time left, pour the can of Ro*tel over the breasts. Follow that by sprinkling your onions and peppers over the chicken. Finally, add your cheese over the top of your dish. Cook it for the remaining time.

Place your chicken breasts on plates, and serve with sour cream on top. This should feed four people. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Substitutions Are Easy

It can be difficult to stay low-carb when you have others who live in the house that don't stay low-carb. For example, when your spouse has no desire to change his or her eating habits, it makes it tough for you to change your's. However, with more and more people going low-carb (because they have learned the benefits of this lifestyle change), companies are coming out with products that can help you to stay on track.

Splenda- It's an awesome sweetener that is made from sugar, and just processed differently. You can use it to sweeten just as you would sugar. I make sweet tea, lemonade, and kool-aid that my husband and I can both enjoy.

Bryer's Carb Smart Ice Cream- My favorite is Rocky Road. With 1/2 of a serving, a handful of ice, and the Hood chocolate milk that I already raved about, I can make a great milkshake.

Low-carb Jelly- Both Smuckers and Polaner are making these sugar-free versions. They are great to keep in the refridgerator for a PB&J.

Flavored syrups- DaVinci makes a great sugar-free syrup to help flavor your drinks.

Whipped Cream- Land O'Lakes makes a whipped cream with almost no carbs.

Bread- There were some great low-carb breads out there that my husband and I both enjoyed, but lately I have had trouble finding them. If you know where to get Pepperidge Farm or Arnold low-carb bread, please let me know.

Who Wants Chocolate?

I do, I do. A great product on the market that can be a good start to your day, or an awesome end to your evening, is Calorie Countdown from Hood. It's 2% chocolate milk that tastes great. It also helps your calorie intake not to soar. One of the biggest complaints of the low-carb lifestyle is that it has a high calorie count. This product is a great tasting chocolate milk with low calories and carbs. You can't beat that.

First Three Days

The first three days of any new eating plan are crucial. Low-carb is no exception. In the first three days, your low-carb meal plan should be low-carb to the extreme. These first three days should include lean meats, cheeses, eggs, and any other high protein snack with virtually no carbs. After those first three days, you can increase your amount of carbs slightly, and you should definitely increase your vegetable intake. The reason for the least carbs you can possibly consume is, you are trying to detox your body from the carbs that you have been eating up until this point. You need to get rid of all of the carbs that are currently in your body, and adding more carbs to it during these three days is going to hinder that process.

I sometimes will do a three day extreme like this if I notice that I am at a plateau in my energy levels, as well. Eliminating most carbs from my meals seems to give me an added energy boost. The reason for this is, carbs act as a feux energy. You quickly get a high from the carbs, but within less than an hour, you hit a low. For example, when you consume a bowl of pasta, you feel great for a little while, but then your energy gets so low, it feels like it's nap time. The less carbs in a meal, the less of a high you will be on, and the less likely it is that you will have a huge drop off in your energy level.

A three day low-carb extreme seems to help me kick start. Hopefully it will help you as well.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Little Tricks

The holidays are a time when it seems tough to eat right. This is such a busy time of year. If you aren't out shopping, you're at a Christmas party. There are Christmas plays, parades, and many other events to keep you from eating at home where you can be sure of the nutritional content of your meal. Sometimes it's a quick trip through the drive thru for dinner. Other times, it's a buffet at an office party, accompanied by carb and calorie loaded mixed drinks. The toughest time for me, though, is the time when I am home baking for friends and family. As I have said before, chocolate is my weakness. In addition to that problem, I love to bake, and am quite good at it. Because of this, I do alot of it during the holidays. I try to bake for family gatherings, and I also like to bake treats to give as gifts. Unfortunately, I want to eat my baked goods when they are fininshed, and I want to sample them during the time that I am making them. If you share the same problems as I do, you need to learn some of my tricks, or even come up with some of your own.

Trick # 1 Keep a jar of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy) nearby- a small spoonful of peanut butter can quickly satisfy your sweet tooth, while giving you some added protein (until I went low carb, I would never have thought of peanut butter as sweet)

Trick # 2 Reach for the Whipped Cream (chocolate is great)- very low in carbs, but sweet enough, you'll feel satisfied

Trick # 3 Have a cup of coffee with sugar free flavored syrup- it's hot, it's sweet, and it can last the entire time that you bake

Trick # 4 Grab some Diet Hot Cocoa- 1/2 of a package only contains 2 carbs, and it's a great addition to your holiday

Trick # 5 Chew some gum- cinnamon gum seems to detour my cravings for baked goods

Hope these tricks help you stay on track this season!

Who am I?

I'm a busy person in a hectic world, struggling to stay healthy. I am a teacher in my twenties, with full days and late nights. My husband and I own two businesses, which keep us extremely busy. He has never had to diet one day in his life. In fact, he has trouble gaining weight. If only I had THAT problem. I, on the other hand, gain weight just thinking of chocolate. I love to eat vegetables and lean meats. Unfortunately, I am ever-so-tempted by the cocoa bean. Chocolate, my friends, is my pleasure, my indulgence, and my obsession. I have, however, made a wonderful discovery... Allow me to share it with you. The "low-carb craze," as it is commonly called, is the most successful lifestyle change that you can ever make. I won't call it a diet, because it really isn't a diet. It's more of a life-changing experience. It takes a committment, but once you make that committment, and stay low-carb for a few months, you find that low-carb is the best for you. Within a few days, you'll notice that you feel better, and soon, anything sweet that you consume will taste like you are eating sugar out of a bag. It's an amazing process that can transform your body along the way. Follow me into battle and watch, as I am Winning the Carb War!