suggestions, recipes, and ideas for staying low-carb

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Do You Want to Win the Low-Carb War?

If you do, here are some tips that can help.

1. Pick an eating plan and research it. In my opinion (as if you have no idea what I am going to say), low-carb is the way to go. However, I do realize that not all people can do low-carb. That being said, pick the plan that is best for you, and move on to step number 2.

2. Set a goal. If it's a certain number on the scale, write that number down on a piece of paper. Put the number in your wallet, and look at it often. It can also be helpful to strategically place the number in various places of your home. For example, place the number on your refrigerator or freezer door. Another good place for it is on your bathroom mirror. Anywhere that you will see it on a regular basis is a good place to have it. This is a great way to help you achieve your goal.

3. Stick to your plan. There's nothing like a dieter who starts an eating plan, only to ruin it within a few days. Don't be one of those people. Don't be the person who decided twice a week that the new way of eating starts tomorrow. If you go through life continually doing that, you end up gaining weight, instead of losing it. One reason is that every night before you start over again, you eat everything in the house. It's as if it will be the last meal you ever eat. Instead of being that person, be the person that sets a goal, devises a plan, and adheres to it, no matter what.

4. Reward yourself for a job well done. Once you have lost the first 5 pounds, treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, or something else that will keep you motivated. DO NOT reward yourself with a carb day. That can only lead to a derailing of your success.

Focus on changing your life, not just your weight, and enjoy the new, healthier you.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Have You Had Your MUFA Today?

Some of you are thinking, this gal has gone off her rocker. What the heck is a MUFA? Others may know what I am talking about. A MUFA is something that I have had in my diet for a long time, but until recently, had no idea how important it was. MUFA stands for monounsaturated fats. I have always consumed these MUFAs while living the low-carb lifestyle, but I never knew how improtant they were. After watching an interview with the authors of the book The Flat Belly Diet on Rachael Ray's show earlier this week, I pieced together some information.

I researched The Flat Belly Diet, and what it was all about for the past few days. The way the diet works, is you consume four meals that should be four hundred calories throughout the day. With each of these four meals, you are to eat a MUFA. The important part is, though, your MUFA must count as part of your four hundred calories, not in addition to those calories.

There were some things about The Flat Belly Diet that I disagree with. It seems that The Flat Belly Diet is geared towards being low-calorie, more so, than being low-carb. Well, you know me, I'm loving the low-carb lifestyle. I don't feel that low-calorie is the way to go for my personal body type. So, I decided to take some of the suggestions, and leave the others behind. I decided that I am going to try my best to incorporate a MUFA into each meal. It seems I have more success when I am eating more MUFAs anyway.

If you don't know what a MUFA is, I will give you the list. MUFAs, again, are monounsaturated fats. The four categories of MUFA that I like are oils, nuts and seeds, avocados and olives, and chocolate. Oils are specific, like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grape Seed Oil, and Soybean Oil. If you sautee your chicken in one of these oils, and put it on a mixed green salad with cheese and eggs, you have done great with a low-carb meal, and including your MUFA. The nuts and seeds category includes a lot of different snacks. Peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and sunflower seeds are all on the list. These can be a quick snack, or you can add them to your meal. Pecan Encrusted Tilapia is a great way to include your MUFA, and be high protein at the same time. The avocados and olives category is pretty self explanatory. Olives make a great snack with some cheese. Avocados are great to add to your salad, or you can make a tasty guacamole to dip your low-carb tortilla chips in. Finally, my favorite, but least often consumed MUFA is chocolate. Dark chocolate, especially, is a good MUFA. Living low-carb, though, you must try not to have an abundance of chocolate, as it is not a low-carb food.

I like the idea of eating more MUFAs throughout the day, and I am thankful for having been reminded of this by The Flat Belly Diet on Rachael Ray. Hopefully this MUFA information, and list, can be of help to you on your journey towards living low-carb.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

One More Negative Effect of Carbohydrates

It's obvious that I have had a little time this morning to conduct research about low-carb. In addition to finding out that I suffer from Low-Carb Tunnel Syndrome (read the blog entry below), I also found another interesting bit of information. I came across some information that might even change the thinking of people who are against low-carb. The reasons to opt for low-carb are unlimited. They range from weight loss to higher energy levels to lower cholesterol. Researchers have now given us one more reason to pass on carbohydrates.

Scientists in Stockholm have found high levels of a substance that is believed to cause cancer in foods that are high in carbohydrates. The substance is believed to be in foods such as french fries, breads, potato chips, etc. Notice anything that they all have in common? They are all foods that you should steer clear of when on the low-carb lifestyle. The substance is called acrylamide, and is classified as a medium hazard probable human carcinogen. It has been known to cause stomach tumors, both malignant and benign. This little bit of information was enough to detour me from that order of french fries.

Low-Carb Tunnel Syndrome (LCTS)

This is too funny. While researching information this morning about the reasons to live a low-carb lifestyle, I came across an article. I found the information inside to be a little disturbing, but very entertaining. It turns out that Dr. Howard Peiper has made a contribution to the low-carb lifestyle. He has given a name to people who choose to live low-carb. He has diagnosed people who only eat low-carb foods with a disorder. These people are said to be suffering from Low-Carb Tunnel Syndrome.

This was one of the funniest things that I have ever come across. I choose to eat in the way that is best for my body, and my health, and I get labeled as having a disorder. Upon further research, I found that Dr. Howard Peiper has written books about low-carb. One of his books is a guide to low-carb eating. To me, this was too much. Someone who supports the low-carb lifestyle has gone and labeled the people who choose to follow the low-carb lifestyle. It sounded to me like Dr. Howard Peiper was in need of creating a little publicity for himself. I guess it worked, though, because here I am talking about him, and here you are reading about him. Go figure.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Little Workout Advice

This may not be about low-carb, but it does have something to do with weight loss. Finding just the right music to listen to while working out is something that can have quite an affect on your success with exercise. Choosing music that motivates you is the best way to give your workout the kick that it needs. You can read more about this at the Calorie King website.

Sometimes, deciding what music you want can be a problem, though. To solve this problem, I took the easy approach. I did the famous "Google Search." I searched, via Google, for other people's suggestion to the best workout music. I came across a huge variety of what other people choose to listen to while working out. There were some suggestions that I took, and others that I wondered, "Can they be serious?" After coming up with my personalized list of music for my time on the treadmill, or elliptical, I went and downloaded the music, legally, of course, and made my own CD. Actually, I made three different CDs. What can I say? There were some great suggestions out there, and some of the suggestions made me think of other songs I wanted. Now, with three CDs, I can use a different one each time I workout, and never get bored. Hope these suggestions can help you to rev up your monotonous workouts.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Let's Talk Skin

No, I don't mean on a chicken. I mean the skin on your body. Of course you know that carbohydrates have an affect on your body, but did you ever stop to think about the affects they have on your skin? Sugars, in fact all carbs, can make themselves known in your face. Eating sugars, and other carbohydrates, can cause inflamation in organs of your body. And, for those of you who failed biology and anatomy, your skin is an organ. Therefore, carbs can cause inflamation of your skin. I recently came across an interesting article online about this very issue. Please follow this link, and read the story for yourself. It should make you cut back on the carbs, or at least think twice before grabbing that chocolate...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Quick and Easy Tray

It sounds pretty obvious, but just in case you forgot, a meat and cheese tray is perfect for your low-carb Superbowl Party. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Basically, fill your tray with meat, cheese, olives, and pickles. Pick your favorite meats and cheeses and fill the tray. If you have blank spots, add in dill pickles and olives. Put a dish of blue cheese or ranch dressing in the center, and you have a great dish for the big game.