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Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Update

Today's weight loss numbers:
As of this morning, I am holding steady at 8 pound lost.

Total weight loss so far:
8 pounds.

Total weight left to lose:
67 pounds.

Although some people might be disappointed by this, I am pretty pleased. I have had quite a rough few weeks, and to have maintained my recent weight loss seems pretty good to me. Next week, though, the numbers WILL change!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

That's Life

Here's a quick update of my life right now, so you will understand why I have not been keeping up with this blog very well.

After the chaos that was last week, I thought this week would be a great week for getting back on track. I could not have been more wrong...

Sunday, I decided to go to a festival that was 2 hours away. We were out all day long, but I thought it would be fine, because Baby M and I could rest on Monday, since I had the day off of work. I also thought this would be a pretty monotonous week, so it wouldn't be a huge deal if I was exhausted all week.

However, on Monday, Baby M was in the process of cutting her first tooth, so there was no rest in our house. She also had a pretty raspy cough that had gotten worse, so I made her an appointment for Tuesday at 11:15. So, Monday afternoon, my husband was at the doctor to find out if he had a kidney stone. He was told he did not, and instead, he needed to have a test run that would cost almost $500. This was quite a shock and also quite painful. Then, at 2:00 Tuesday morning, I had to rush him to the ER for side pain that was excruciating. Three hours of waiting with Baby M, who was such a little trooper, and we find out... he has a kidney stone. (which basically renders the $500 test pointless) We then went home to repack the diaper bag and rest for a bit, and had to turn around to go to Baby M's appointment. The rest of the day was sort of a blur, and yesterday I stayed home to nurse both of my babies to health.

That being said, I will be weighing in tomorrow, and will be super excited to just maintain the past weight loss. Stress eating is generally not healthy. Just a little update, and I am praying for next week to be much better!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Can You be Addicted to Carbs?

The answer to that question is an absolute YES! Although many people would disagree (mostly low-fat dieters), Carbohydrate Addiction really is a problem. Carbohydrate Addiction is defined as : A compelling hunger, craving, or desire for carbohydrate-rich foods; an escalating, recurring need or drive for starches, snack foods, junk food, or sweets. For some people, they feel addicted to all of the aforementioned foods. For others, they have a "focused carbohydrate addiction." I am the latter. I can often pass on pasta, bread, chips, and other things, but when I am faced with chocolate of almost any kind, I struggle to pass it up.

Carbohydrate-rich foods include, but are not limited to, breads and bagels, cakes, most cereals, chocolate, cookies, most crackers, many fruits, ice cream, chips, pasta and potatoes, rice, pie, and any beverage that has been sweetened with sugar.

By eating any of the previously mentioned items, you can ensure that you will not satisfy a craving, and eventually, you will end up craving more of the same types of food. Carbohydrates are in fact addictive, and the cycle will continue as you eat them. By avoiding them in the first place, you better your chances of avoiding them altogether.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fitting in Exercise

I have found that when I keep track of my exercising throughout the week, I seem to be more consistent. I have made it a goal to go walking at least 3 evenings per week. I do realize that there are weeks that this will be more difficult than others. In order to better my chances, I am striving to walk on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. This way, I have Thursday and Friday to make up for any missed days.

Unfortunately there are some weeks, like last week, where Jury Duty, doctors appointments, school dances, baby showers, cookie bake offs, spelling bees, and many other things get in the way of this happening. Due to the fact that last week I only went 1 time, I have made a goal to go at least 4 nights this week. I'll let you know how that works out!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Get to Publix!

Just a quick note for those of you who are "Loving the Low-Carb Lifestyle." A while back, I posted a wonderful recipe for stir-fry. That is one of my favorite meals, and I have found a way to make it a little easier. This is especially helpful on nights like I have had for the past week. I have found Eat Smart Vegetables.
These are great bagged vegetables that you can buy at the grocery store. Right now, Publix has them marked down to $1.00 per bag. I like to buy them in bulk when this happens, and keep them in the freezer until I am ready to use them.

With this meal, I like to use pre-cooked shrimp that I keep in the freezer. I thaw them out for a few minutes, and toward the end of cooking the veggies, I throw them in. I start by oiling up a pan with extra virgin olive oil and heating it to medium. Once it is hot, I add in a bag of the stir fry. Then I add in the shrimp. I leave it cooking until the vegetables are to the consistency that I like. I add in garlic salt, and soy sauce (sodium free) to taste. This makes a great meal by itself, and it's so easy to do.

My Week

My week has been super-hectic, beginning with Jury Duty, a doctor's appointment for my husband, and Valentine's Day all rolled into Monday. Tuesday, I had a crazy day that ended with me baking cookies until midnight, and then wrapping gifts for a baby shower for twins. Wednesday was the baby shower for the twins. Today, after work, I will be staying to work on a technology assignment, eating dinner with a fellow teacher, and great friend (who has lost close to 100 pounds in the last year and a half thanks to low-carbing), and then chaperoning a dance until 8:30. Tomorrow, I will be traveling about an hour and a half, one way, to cheer on our spelling bee winner (who won the county bee) in the regional spelling bee, as I am the school spelling bee coordinator. It's been a pretty crazy week and in all the chaos, I have only had the opportunity to go walking one time, and although I have stayed eating fairly low-carb, I have eaten a lot on the go. I have also just eaten a lot, in general. I didn't get a chance to weigh-in this morning, but I will be happy just to have maintained this week. I am not expecting any weight loss. With a hectic week like this one, I am looking forward to next week, and seeing some results.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quick Update

Just as a quick update: I tried the Alfredo Eggs over the weekend, and I really liked them. I have a feeling that many readers will not like them. It's an interesting combination, and I think if I had a texture issue like some people I know I probably would not have liked them. However, I really enjoyed them, and they were definitely a change of pace from boring scrambled eggs. I even think that in the morning this would be a great breakfast with some tomato slices. Try it, you'll like it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Weight Loss Kit

I received my weight loss kit from Atkins on Tuesday. It contained various tools to aid me in my weight loss journey. The most interesting to me is this pocket carb count guide. It has the carb counts of various foods, including specific brands. I was impressed with it, and being now that my purse is huge because it contains new items, such as diapers and socks, I will be carrying it in my purse. It also had a quick start food guide. This is great for those who are new to the low-carb lifestyle. It helps you to better understand how to begin the low-carb journey. It's basically a mini-book on Atkins. It also included a nice recipe book full of chef recipes that can are for the various phases of the Atkins plan. I have looked through it, and there are some wonderful recipes for some great sounding meals in it. Finally, along with a coupon and rebate for the new book, there were three different Atkins bars. I am going to try each of them and see how I feel about them. I am a bit apprehensive to add them into my meal plan because the lowest carb count of the three is 16 carbs. However, in net carbs, the highest carb count is 3 net carbs. I know that they are pretty expensive, also. It can't hurt to try them, though, and maybe keep them at the house for when I just need some chocolate. After receiving the kit, though, I would highly recommend everyone go sign up for it. After all, it's free, and includes some great resources!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Update

Today's weight loss numbers:
As of this morning, I am down another 5 pounds.

Total weight loss so far:
8 pounds.

Total weight left to lose:
67 pounds.

This was a good week for me. I had success in numbers, and am excited about the weeks to come.

When You Fall off the Wagon...

There are many times that you give into temptation and have something that you shouldn't when you are trying to live the low-carb lifestyle. Even though there are times like this, the way you handle them can make all the difference. It's really easy to eat something that you shouldn't, and then decide to just pig out. You do this because you think that because you already had a lot of carbs, there really is no point in trying to stay low-carb. This isn't a good idea, and here's the reason why.

Studies have shown that the consumption of carbs can lead to the craving for more carbs. That makes sense if you think about it. I know that when I eat something chocolate to satisfy my craving, it ends up with me eating more chocolate, and then more chocolate, and then more chocolate, and so on, and so on. This is true of all foods that are higher in carbohydrates. The more carbohydrates that you consume, the more carbohydrates that you want. It's a cycle, and it continues.

On the other hand, protein has been shown to make you feel full, and not feel like you need to eat and eat and eat. So, the moral of the story is: When you fall off of the low-carb wagon, don't just lay there. Jump back on like you never missed a beat!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's Time to Egg-zit (Exit)

Thanks for joining me for my eggs-stravaganza. I hope you have enjoyed the recipes containing eggs. I was going to post a recipe for egg salad, but there are so many recipes and so many people like different things in it that's I chose to let you make your own. I am always posting new recipes as I find them, so this probably won't be the last of my egg recipes. If you come across any interesting egg recipes, or any recipes for that matter, feel free to email them to me at winningthecarbwar@yahoo.com. I would love to post them for you, and of course, I'll give credit where it is due.

Greek Eggs

I love Greek food. My sister-in-law is Greek, and I fell in love with their cuisine when I attended her brother's engagement party. Everything was delicious. The best part of the meal was the salad. At the bottom of the salad was a wonderful layer of potato salad. How unexpected, and high in carbs. This egg dish is not high in carbs, but still delicious. It's pretty simple, but tastes very elegant. You will need the following ingredients:

1 tablespoon of butter
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of water
1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk the eggs and water together, then pour the mixture into the pan. Add the feta cheese and cook, stirring occasionally as you would any scrambled eggs. Season with as much salt and pepper as you like. (Remember that feta cheese has a very salty taste to it, so taste before you add too much salt.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alfredo Eggs

Here's an egg recipe that I am going to post before I try it. I wanted to make that clear, just in case you don't like it. I am planning on trying it sometime this week, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. It seems pretty simple, and, although it sounds different, it sounds very tasty to me. This is the simplest ingredient list I can think of. You will only need eggs and Alfredo sauce.

Take 1/4 cup of Alfredo sauce and heat it in the microwave. I am going to use a glass bowl. While it is heating, scramble 2 eggs. Once the sauce is heated, transfer your scrambled eggs into the sauce. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. I am going to add chives to mine, and a little bit of garlic salt.

This seems like an easy dinner after a busy day. Usually, Thursdays are my exhausted evenings, so that's probably when I will try it. Once I try these, I will update and give my opinion. I have high hopes!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ham Deviled Eggs

This one was a pretty interesting recipe that I tried. I was slightly hesitant to sample this one, but I took a chance. These easy snack foods were delicious, and they are easy to make in phases and keep in the refrigerator for a day, or two. First, you need to boil your eggs. For my method on boiling eggs, see this previous post. You will need the following ingredients:

6 boiled eggs
3 to 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons of finely minced ham
salt and pepper to taste

Peel the eggs and cut each one in half. Remove the yolks and mash them with the mayonnaise and mustard. Stir in the ham until it is well combined. Season the mixture to your liking and use it to fill each half. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Spinach and Cream Cheese Omelet

If you don't like spinach, then I would suggest that you skip this post and move to a different one. I love spinach, but this does have a strong spinach taste to it. It's pretty simple and quick for mornings on the go.

Ingredients:
2 ounces cream cheese (not low fat)
2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese and spinach. In a separate bowl, beat the 2 eggs. Brush the olive oil onto the bottom of a frying pan. Preheat the pan on medium heat, and pour in the eggs.

Cook it until you are able to flip egg. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto cooked side of egg. Wait 30 seconds to ensure the other side of the egg is cooked, fold it in half, and wait for 1 minute to melt the cream cheese mixture. Remove it from heat and serve.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Wonderful World of Eggs

I love to eat eggs. I love them scrambled for breakfast, or boiled for a snack. I thought I would take this opportunity to remind you of how healthy an egg is. Take a few minutes to read over this site and its 10 health benefits of eggs. Eggs are delicious and great for you. There are multiple ways to use an egg in the kitchen, and I never run out of ideas for eggs. Over the next few days, I will be posting recipes that eggs are the focus of. Come back and learn a few new ways to eat an egg.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Method for Boiling Eggs

Boiled eggs are great to keep on hand when you are avoiding carbs. Here is a little tip for boiling eggs. I usually boil my eggs at night. I put them in the pot of cold water and place them on the burner, which is turned on high. As soon as the water begins to boil, I take the pot off of the burner and put a lid on it. I leave them sitting for about 10 minutes, and then pour the water off and replace it with cold water for about 15 minutes. I put the eggs into a baggy and leave them in the refrigerator overnight. I either eat them plain over the next few days, or turn them into deviled eggs the next day.

Quick and Easy Tray Repost

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.

Hot Wings Repost

The best food for a Superbowl Party is, hands down, hot wings. I don't think that I have ever been to a Superbowl party that I haven't enjoyed some deliscious chicken wings. There are many different sauces out there that you can dress your naked wings with, and it's important to find the sauce you like the best. Always check the label for hidden sugars, which can make your low-carb attempts go wrong. I like to cook my wings at 350 degrees until they are just crisping on the outside. This takes about an hour, and you need to turn them 3 to 4 times during cooking. After they are done, I toss them in my homemade buffalo sauce.

For my buffalo sauce, I use 2 tbsp butter for every 6 wings. I use 1 to 2 tbsp Louisiana Hot sauce for every 6 wings. I also add a tbsp low-carb ketchup to thicken and lightly sweeten my sauce. Once the wings are done, I mix the amount of sauce I will need, and toss the wings in it. It's wonderful if you have a nice blue-cheese dressing to serve with them. I make my own, but there are great store bought dressings out there, so just taste and look around. Be creative, and have fun when making Hot Wings.

Phenomenal Cheese Spread Repost

The name says it all. This cheese spread is out of this world. It will have your football fans raving, even if their team loses. You will need the following ingredients:

4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (my favorite cheese)
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon each, crushed basil and crushed oregano
1/8 teaspoon each, crushed thyme and dillweed

Put all ingredients together and mix at medium speed, until they are combined. Immediately following, spread the mixture onto cucumber slices, or baked pepperoni slices.

For baked pepperoni slices, just place pepperoni side by side on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the pepperoni at 325 degrees for a few minutes. About halfway through the process, blot the pepperoni with a paper towel, and flip them over. The cheese spread tastes excellent on the baked pepperoni. Serve them to your guests, and accept compliments graciously.

Kickin' Marinated Shrimp Repost

Shrimp make a great party snack at Superbowl time. Here's a recipe for great marinated shrimp. You will need the following ingredients:

1 pound fresh cooked shrimp, deveined
1 1/2 teaspoon lime peel, finely shredded
1/2 cup lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced

Rinse your shrimp, and pat them dry. Set aside, while you combine the other ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix the ingredients together, and add your shrimp. Toss them to make sure they all get coated. Cover the shrimp in the marinade, and refrigerate for 3 hours. During those 3 hours, stir the mixture 3 times. Finally, drain the shrimp, and place on a serving tray. These will be gone before you walk away.

More Delicious Dip Repost

Here's a great tasting dip that you can eat with or without your homemade tortilla chips. For this one, you will need the following ingredients:

16 ounces sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
6 to 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
6 to 8 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
8 to 10 ounces corned beef, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise

Dry your rinsed and drained sauerkraut with paper towels. Place it in a large bowl, along with the rest of the ingredients. Stir all of the ingredients together, and transfer them into 2 quart casserole dish. Bake it at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly. Serve it while warm with low-carb tortilla chips (see recipe below for tortilla chips). Everyone will enjoy this great creation.

Chips and Guacamole Repost

Holy Moly, did I just say chips? I know you can't have tortilla chips on the low-carb lifestyle. But, you can have a low-carb tortilla wrap, and do what I do with it when I just want some salsa. I take a pair of kitchen scissors and cut my wrap into triangle shapes. Then, I throw them in the fryer for about a minute, flipping them halfway through, and sprinkle them with salt to taste while they cool on a paper towel. Now I have tortilla chips. Pretty cool, huh?

Now, for the guacamole...

Take 2 medium avocados, cut them in half, and pop out the pits. Place them in a bowl along with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon lime juice, and mash until it is the consistency of your liking. Add in a small Vidalia onion, chopped finely. Add in one medium tomato, ripe, chopped. And finally, add in 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro. Taste it, and if you need to, add a little more of any of the previous ingredients, and serve with you tortilla chips.

Great Low-Carb Chili Repost

What Superbowl Party is complete without a great chili? For this low-carb version, you will need the following ingredients:

two medium onions
four cloves of garlic
three to four pounds of ground beef (or turkey if you prefer)
five tbsp chili powder
four cups beef bullion
tabasco sauce to tatse

Saute your onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Brown you meat, and add the chili powder and beef bullion. Cook over medium heat until your meat is tender, and the bullion has boiled down a bit. Sprinkle cheese over top of the chili, and serve. This recipe makes eight to ten buffet sized servings. Everyone will enjoy this, and no one will notice that it's low-carb.

A Few Recipe Reposts...

Being that today is SuperBowl Sunday, I thought it would be nice if I repost a few of the recipes that would be useful for low-carb football fans. I do realize that I have cut it a little close with the game starting in just a bit, but the good news is that these recipes are great for any gathering in which low-carbers are attending. Enjoy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

That's Amore

As long as I can remember, I have always pulled the toppings off of a pizza and throw the crust away, instead of just eating it like a normal person. This tends to amuse people who see it. I guess it's pretty common for a child to do it, but a 29 year old mommy doing it seems to cause a little more commotion. Fortunately, this led me to a great idea. I make a pizza topping for myself when I am cooking for one. If I did this for my husband for dinner, he would be speechless, and not in a good way. Because of this, I make sure that this is only something I do when it's just me eating dinner.

I take a cake pan and line it with a layer of pepperoni. I then spread a small amount of tomato sauce with meat in it across the top. I sprinkle a heavy amount of cheese on top, and then I bake it in the oven at 350 degrees. When all of the cheese is bubbling, I pull it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Sometimes I sprinkle Parmesan cheese on, sometimes I don't. This makes a great meal, and I have leftovers for the next day.

Because of the carbs in the tomato sauce, I won't be eating this during my two week induction, but I will be adding it in after. These are also things I generally have in the refrigerator, so it makes for an easy meal. Enjoy!

Friday Update

Today's weight loss numbers:
As of this morning, I am down 3 pounds.

Total weight loss so far:
3 pounds.

Total weight left to lose:
72 pounds.

I am super excited about this number. It's nice to track it and be able to see the number 75 decreasing. Hopefully everyone else is seeing success as well.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Watch Out!

When you are just beginning on the low-carb lifestyle, it is important to realize that there are hidden carbs in various foods. A good example that I can give you is the wonderful chicken salad at a local restaurant that I love. This is by far the most phenomenal chicken salad that I have ever tasted. If I could afford it, I would eat this chicken salad all day, every day. However, there are hidden carbs in this chicken salad. You see, one of the ingredients that makes this chicken salad so delicious is Craisins. Craisins, like regular raisins, contain carbs, and not just a few. They are very sweet, and, even in moderation, can add a lot of unknown sugars and carbs to your daily intake. Knowing this, I try not to eat this chicken salad often, and when I do, I try to eat only a little at a time. Watch for other foods with hidden carbs in them. Read labels and do searches online. I know I hate the thought of sabotaging my weight loss because of the unknown!

Add a Little Exercise

Adding a little exercise to your day can aid in weight loss. Just burning a few more calories a day can make a huge difference. It can also give you additional energy to face the day, week, month, and so on. I have gone walking for the last two evenings with Baby M. Even though it takes energy to get out and go walking, especially adding the weight of the stroller and Baby M, I find that when I get home, I have more energy than when I started. I also notice that I have more energy the next day. Give it a try, and see what you notice!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How to Begin the Low-Carb Lifestyle

Embarking on the two week induction for the low-carb lifestyle can seem a bit overwhelming. The key is to plan ahead. During this two weeks, you want to stay under 20 carbs per day, which can be difficult. You want to avoid nuts during this phase, although it is okay to add them in later. Cheese is great for all phases of the low-carb lifestyle, but you have to keep in mind that cheese has some carbs in it. Any meat is great during this two week period. I also love to keep boiled eggs handy. I can just peel and eat them, or turn them into deviled eggs. Vegetables are a necessity, but some are better than others. It's important to drink as much water as you can during this time period, and always remember to avoid alcohol during this two week period. For a really helpful set of guidelines, go to the Atkins website. I printed it out so I could keep it on me for this two weeks.