Loving the Low-Carb Lifestyle

suggestions, recipes, and ideas for staying low-carb

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Return of the Egg

Back in February, I posted multiple times about eggs. There are many health benefits to eggs, as you can read in a plethora of places. I have just recently tasted one of the most phenomenal meals ever. I can't believe it took me until now to realize just how delicious this was.

All I did was make my regular scrambled eggs, and pour mild salsa over top of them, and enjoy.

I remember when I was growing up, my dad used to put salsa on everything from baked potatoes to grilled chicken breasts. I think he used to use salsa on his eggs. Just a suggestion: if you haven't tried this yet, you definitely should. I could eat it every morning...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Welcome to my Life!

Again, I have let a month go by without posting. I really can't say much as an excuse, except that I have gotten back into the habit of walking, which takes up much of my afternoon. So, my day goes something like this:

5:30 I rise and shine and hop into the shower.
6:00 Baby M usually wakes up on her own, but sometimes my husband or I have to wake her. She takes a bottle while I pick out something to wear and blow dry my hair. Then, she gets her breakfast, which usually consists of fruit and oatmeal. She's not eating it on her own, yet, so that involves my husband or me.
6:45 If my husband takes Baby M to the sitter, he leaves at 6:45, and I leave for work at 7:00, which means I have a 15 minute window to clean house a bit, or make bottles. If I take Baby M to the sitter, I leave at 6:45 for the sitter's house.
7:30 I arrive at work to face my other 80 children, my fifth graders.
3:00 I leave work and head out for my favorite part of the day. This is when I get to pick Baby M up from the sitter's. That is absolutely the best feeling, when I walk in the door and she sees me. We make eye contact, and she gets this beautiful grin on her face. It's magical. There are no words to describe how much I love that moment.
4:30 We get home from the sitter's house, and usually Baby M needs an afternoon snack, so again, she has a bottle, while I clean out her diaper bag and wash bottles.
5:00 We usually lay down for a snuggle time and her mini nap on the couch. Usually, when she nods off, I get up and get changed into my walking gear.
6:00 We meet "Nina", as Baby M will call my mom, and go walking.
7:45 We return home from our walk, and Baby M eats and takes a bath. My husband and I eat shortly after, and bedtime comes quickly.

There just doesn't seem to be any time in there for posting on the blog. School lets out in the beginning of June, so hopefully, blogging will become more frequent.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Way TOO Long...

I can't believe that it has been over a month since my last post. Basically, I have no excuse for the lack of posting. Unless, of course, you count my household passing the same virus around in a circle for the last 6 weeks. Baby M spent time on a nebulizer, while my dear husband ended up in the Urgent Care Center with the flu and dehydration. I followed this up with a fun case of walking pneumonia, bronchitis, and severe dehydration. The doctor wanted me to take a few days off from work. I quickly informed her that the FCAT begins this Monday, and being sick wasn't an option until it's over.

On the plus side, if you take a look to the left side of the page, you'll notice the ticker is moving. I'm pretty excited. I'll be back soon to posting regularly. I just have to get through this darn FCAT test!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Update

Today's weight loss numbers:
As of this morning, I am down another 1 pound.

Total weight loss so far:
9 pounds.

Total weight left to lose:
66 pounds.

I'm not too thrilled about the number this week, but at least the scale is moving again. Hopefully, it will continue to do so, but faster now.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Meat Only

A few years ago, I did a 3 day meat only period. It was fairly easy to do, but took will power and planning. Now, with Baby M being (the best) part of our lives, both planning and will power have taken a back burner. All planning is now in regards to her. That's not a cop out, though, because it always bothered me to hear people say that once they had kids, they had not choice but to "let themselves go." Instead, I am simply explaining why I didn't choose to do this at the beginning of induction this time around. I am wondering, however, if I had done this, would I have seen better results? Something to think about after Easter when I have consumed a little too much chocolate...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Real Verses Imitation Crab Meat


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 cup (62.0 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories
45
Calories from Fat
45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
5.0g
8%
Cholesterol
35mg
12%
Sodium
350mg
15%
Total Carbohydrates
1.0g
0%
Protein
9.0g
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 20%Iron 4%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet











(Real Crab Meat)



Nutrition Facts

Size: 85g

Amount per Serving
  • Calories 80 Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 0g 0%
  • Saturated Fat 0g 0%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 5mg 2%
  • Sodium 640mg 27%
  • Potassium 0mg 0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
  • Sugars 6g
  • Protein 5g
(Imitation Crab Meat)


The first label is from Geisha canned crab. It is genuine crab that you can find in the same area as the tuna at most local grocery stores. The second label is from an imitation crab meat that can also be found at the local grocery store, however, it is usually in the seafood section (frozen foods). While there are many differences in nutrition of real crab and imitation crab, the two most noticeable things to me are the sodium counts, as imitation crab has almost twice as much sodium as the real crab, and the sugars that have been added to the imitation crab. The real crab has 1 carb, as opposed to the imitation crab that has 15 carbs. The price difference is negligible, also. It's definitely worth it to find the real crab, even if you have to go to more than one store.

Crab and Broccoli Casserole

This is a great recipe for a wonderful casserole. I love seafood, and broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables. I like this casserole because has all the appeal of a comfort food, but it is much better for you. You will need the following ingredients:

2 tbsp of butter
1/4 cup of chopped onions
8 ounces of crab (not imitation)
1/4 cup of cream and 1/4 cup of water
2 cups of cooked broccoli (can be fresh or frozen)
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of lemon juice

The steps to making this casserole are fairly simple. You want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1 quart casserole dish, and put the broccoli (already cooked) into the bottom. Sprinkle the broccoli with the cheddar cheese. Melt the butter in a pan and saute the onion. Add a tiny bit of flour to the onion, and add the salt. Gradually stir in the cream and water mixture. Cook this mixture until it has thickened, and add in the lemon juice and crab meat. Pour the mixture over the broccoli and cheddar, and bake it for 30 minutes. Serve it immediately and enjoy!



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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Where Have I Been?

It's been 2 years and 18 days since my last post, and you may be wondering where I have been. Well, a lot has happened in my life since then. Let me bring you up to date with some information.

We'll start in August of 2007. I know, it was a long time ago, but it's really where this story begins. In August of 2007, my husband and I decided that it was time to expand our family. Being a normal American woman who has watched friend after friend get pregnant the month that she stopped birth control (and some others accidently while they were still on birth control), I assumed we would conceive with no trouble at all. Wrong-O! By October, I was distraught. I couldn't believe we weren't expecting, yet. That was when I learned to search the internet day and night to figure out what was wrong with me, or my husband, as the case may be. Every month, I would find "the problem" and do whatever the online posters said you needed to do to fix "the problem." I needed to take Dimatapp for a few months. That didn't work. I needed to just relax, and let it happen. That didn't work. There were many other things that I needed to do that didn't work that are too explicit to talk about on a blog. Suffice it to say that if you google "trying to conceive" or TTC, as I learned to refer to it in online communities, you'll come across many random things that I did to try to get pregnant. After about a year of trying to get pregnant, I started to question an OBGYN. He told me it didn't seem like anything was out of the ordinary, but ordered an HSG test, and also tests for my husband. I won't go into detail about the HSG test, but let's just say it was unpleasant, to say the least. The HSG test, as well as my husband's test, came back normal, and it was time for me to start Clomid, which is the first fertility drug that doctors try. Three months, fifteen or twenty nervous breakdowns (including me on the kitchen floor, crying hysterically for no reason at all), and about 20 pounds later, I decided that Clomid wasn't for me, especially since it didn't seem to do any good. We looked into our options, and decided that we would try an IUI, being that it was fairly reasonable in price, but that would be all we did. IVF and other procedures aren't really covered under Florida insurance, and cost a small fortune. Since there was really no indication of what was causing us not to be able to conceive, it was kind of hard to get any kind of statistics as to the success rate for us doing IVF anyway. We had an IUI once in August of 2009. I just knew it worked. When the next month came, and it hadn't worked, I lost it. It was such a low point for me. So, that month, I gained another 10 pounds. My husband and I decided that for my mental health's sake, it would be best if we put TTC on hold, and looked into adoption.

If we were going to get serious about our adoption, though, we had a lot of work ahead of us. We had fingerprints to get done, DCF clearances to pass, home visits to schedule, and lots of money to come up with. We worked to gather all necessary documents, including physicians statements about whether or not we were healthy enough to raise a child, birth certificates, reference letters, and so on. After a few months, we were given the okay, and our home study was complete. We then signed with 3 different agencies, and got put on the WAITING LIST. That is the most excruciating time, ever. You just wait for a call that someone wants you to raise their child. As long as that period seemed, it did come to an end when we were chosen to parent a baby girl that was due in August. After many ups and downs, and a fall through, we finally brought our baby girl home at the end of August in 2010. Although I would love to show pictures, my husband is very uncomfortable with her pictures or name being used on the internet, which I can't blame him for. I will now refer to my precious little angel as Baby M.

Since her arrival, I have gone into mommy-mode. I have become a full-time mom (without 9 months to plan) and am still a full-time teacher. I have spent lots of time and effort taking care of this precious little girl, while slowly gaining another 10 pounds. All in all, I am beginning my quest to drop 75 pounds. Yesterday, I joined the Atkins community and signed up to receive a free weight loss kit, and 3 free Atkins bars. This isn't anything new to me, since I have lived low-carb before. I know I feel better this way, and am actually excited to get back some energy that an extra 75 pounds takes away. I weighed myself this morning, and have started crunching numbers. I will be updating every Friday with the amount of weight that I have lost over the week. I am being realistic about this, since I will be losing weight strictly from diet and exercise. I will not be taking any medication to aid my weight loss. I will be watching my carb intake, and walking a few times a week with Baby M. Yesterday was day 1 of the two week induction period. Because I have lived low-carb in the past, I am not expecting outrageous weight loss in the first two weeks, as can happen the first time you cut carbs from your diet. Nonetheless, though, I am excited about my journey.

This blog will continue to be information about a low-carb lifestyle. It's not going to be a daily journal entry of my quest to lose the 75 pounds. I will only mention my journey on Friday, when I am updating my weight loss statistics. If you have been to this blog in the past, nothing about it will change, except I will be posting more often (pending Baby M allows me to), and I will be updating my own weight loss on Fridays. If you have just stumbled upon this blog, welcome, and I hope you enjoy what you find here. I post any information about living low-carb that I come across, as well as tips that I find helpful, and recipes I enjoy. Please visit often and learn to enjoy living and loving the low-carb lifestyle with me!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

PCOS Follow Up

A few weeks ago, I posted about the health problems that can be helped by eating low-carb. One of the health problems that seemed to be helped by eating low-carb was PCOS. Just as a little follow up, I found a website about PCOS and carbs. It's a great site. Hope this can help some of those suffering.

Not Sure What to Do?

If you or someone you know is struggling with the decision of whether or not to implement the low-carb lifestyle, let me try to help you. I lead an extremely busy life, and while low-carb may not be the most convenient, I find that it is the best for my body. I find that I have effects from living low-carb that far outweigh the need for me to plan ahead. Right now I am on a 3 day meat fast because I am on a medication that is famous, or better yet infamous, for causing weight gain. I now know why it has that reputation. I decided that I needed to cleanse my body of any carbs that might be in it, and have embarked on a 3 day meat and water diet. I know that some people would argue that this is unhealthy to go without fruits or vegetables. I disagree, however, because it is only for 3 days. I am very good about eating vegetables, although fruit and I don't get along. I will end my 3 days of strictly meat, and have now decided to cut all fast food, or as much as possible, from me daily life. I am doing this for multiple reasons, but the main reason is that I just don't know what is really in fast food. I know what the nutrition facts say, as you can find the nutrition facts for almost anything online. I just don't know what is really hiding in the food. If I am the one that prepares the food, however, I will know what is in it.

If you need some reasons to opt for low-carb, instead of low calorie, I could list millions of reasons. Instead, I am going to tell you to head over to this site, and look at all of the reasons other people have to go low-carb, and stay low-carb.

I also found a website that I have bookmarked recently. I google searched low-carb inspirations, and this site came up. I liked it, and I think you will, too.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I am Oprah!

I am not the biggest fan of Oprah, or her show. Every now and then, however, she has a show that I am interested in, and watch. Today was that day.

I have been hearing about her weight gain, and I hadn't really noticed it, probably because I don't watch the show very often. Over the weekend, though, I heard her being interviewed, and she said that she had gained 40 pounds. I watched the show today, and heard her talking about her struggles, and how she had let her weight creep back up, after she had gotten so healthy just a few years ago.

It was amazing. I had a connection with Oprah. It was like I was watching myself on television talking to Bob, her trainer. Here was Oprah, being so human. She was saying that, among many reasons, one of the reasons that she had let her weight get out of control was that she he had convinced herself that she knew what she was doing. She was in control, because she knew what to do to stay in control. This was part of the reason that she got out of control.

Another reason that she was struggling with her weight was that she let her schedule get out of control. She was putting all of the things that she needed to get done each day ahead of needing to stay healthy. If she didn't put her needs back at the top of her list, she would never get back to where she had been.

This is so true. So many times, we put the needs of others ahead of the needs of our own. I am totally and completely guilty of this. My husband and I own two businesses, and I work full time as a teacher. My day starts at 5:30 in the morning, and I usually don't get home until 8:30 at night. When I get home, I like to spend some time with my husband, so we usually eat together at about 9:15. That is so unhealthy. I know that eating that late has contributed to my weight gain. I have decided to start eating my dinners (Lean Cuisines) during my evening job at one of my businesses.

For my New Year's Resolution, a few days ago, I decided to resolve to have a better year than I have had recently. I resolved that 2009 would be much better than 2007 or 2008. I decided that part of my resolution had to be to put me back at the top of my list. My husband and I are going to join the gym. We can go at 8:30 in the evenings, and still spend some time together. I am going to use the crock pot more, so he can eat before we meet at the gym.

All of these decisions stemmed from my deciding to watch Oprah today. If you missed it, you should head over to her website. I am going to answer the questions, and tune in to the podcast. It sounds like I am advertising for Oprah. I really felt a connection between her weight struggle, and mine. Even if you don't plan to tune in to the podcast, you should go answer the questions. Your answers may surprise you if you are really honest with yourself.

Begin 2009 with me. Jump back on the weight wagon, and put yourself back on the top of the priority list. You won't be alone. Oprah and I will both be at the top of our lists, too!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Low-Carb Cocktails

With New Year's Eve being tomorrow, people will be partying the night away. If you are attending or even hosting a party, you may be interested to know that there are some mixed drinks that aren't full of carbs. When you are trying to stay low-carb, it's definitely best to only consume alcohol in moderation. This doesn't mean that you can't have any alcohol. You just need to choose the healthier ones.

Here is a low-carb version of a margarita. These taste great, and your guests probably won't notice the difference.

1 jigger (1.5 oz) tequila
2 Tablespoons (1 oz) lime juice
1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) water
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1 Tablespoon's worth artificial sweetener
Ice - small handful
Margarita salt or kosher salt

Preparation:Wet the rim of the glass and dip into a small plate of salt.Combine all ingredients. You can either serve it over ice or blended in a blender.

This is a recipe for a low-carb strawberry daiquiri. This is a great sweet treat for a party.

1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 Tablespoon lime juice
I jigger rum (1.5 oz)
Sweetener to taste
Small handful of ice

Preparation:Put in blender and push the button. Serve immediately.

Happy New Year, everyone. Here's to making 2009 low-carb.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Great Blog

I recently found a low-carb blog that is full of recipes. It's always helpful to have as many resources as possible when you are going low-carb. I like this blog because of how versatile it is. It gives information for various recipes. It's a lot like this blog because of the fact that it also has suggestions and ideas for low-carbing. Maybe that's why I liked it so much. Go visit The Pitter Patter of Losing Pounds, and you'll be glad you did.

Crock Pot Soup

Even though the weather here in Florida isn't really calling for soup, it is winter, and traditionally, this is a soup time of year. This chicken soup has a Mexican taste to it. The carb count is pretty low, and the protein count is high. It's a great meal for ending the day. It also heats up nicely as leftovers, and makes a convenient lunch at work tomorrow.

You will need:
1 14 ounce can of chicken broth
1 small can of Ro Tel Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice & Cilantro
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup frozen stir fry (yellow, green, red peppers)

Toss all of the ingredients into your crock pot. Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours. If you are pressed for time, you can set it to high for 3 1/2 hours. I like to sprinkle shredded cheese on the top of the soup while it's still hot. It melts, and adds great flavor to the soup. You can also put a scoop of sour cream on top. If you stir the sour cream in, it will thicken the soup.

This is a great way to use up some leftover chicken.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Beware the Flu

With the holiday season also being infamous for beginning the cold and flu season, it's great to have a low-carb soup recipe. The following recipe is an easy to make, 15 minute chicken soup. The ingredient list is short, and the directions are simple. Make this for when you are sick, or when you just want some delicious soup.

You will need the following ingredients:

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon diced shallot
1 tablespoon grated carrot
3 ounces cooked chicken breast (shredded)
1 and 1/2 cup chicken broth

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and carrot and cook until the shallot has softened. This should take 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook the mixture, stirring it for about 1 minute. Add in the broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the chicken is heated through. This should take 2 to 3 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

I like to add some shredded mozzarella cheese to the top of mine. That is completely optional, but it adds a great flavor.

How to Survive the Holiday Parties

Are you looking for a low-carb idea to take with you to a holiday party? At this time of year, it's inevitable that you are going to be invited to some kind of get together. The first thing that you always ask after being invited is "What can I bring?" If you are a fellow low-carber, you know that it's tough to stay low-carb when you are attending these parties. It seems that people only know how to make sweets at this time of year.

Here are a few tips on how to stay low-carb, but not have to avoid going to holiday gatherings:

1. Eat something high in protein before you head out the door. This will help you to not evereat at the party.

2. Go straight to the vegetable tray. This is a much better option than pigs in a blanket, or cracker and seafood dip.

3. Look for meatballs. Often meatballs make their way to holiday parties. Even though they sometimes have sauce that isn't low-carb, the protein in the meatballs can help to offset the carb count.

4. Offer to bring something, even if they say it isn't necessary. Don't overstep your boundaries, but let the host know that you make great deviled eggs, or that it's tradition for you to supply a party with a cheese tray. This way you are guaranteed something low-carb and high in protein.

These tips can help you to avoid the average 7 pound weight gain people expect during the holiday season.

Low-Carb Eggnog

If you like eggnog, keep reading. If you try to stay low-carb, eggnog is not really an option. There is an eggnog that you can have and still stay low-carb. You have to make it on your own, but is you are an eggnog drinker, this will be worth it to you.

You will need:
4 large eggs
2 cups milk (I like Carb Countdown by Hood)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sweetener (I like Splenda)
1/2 cup brandy or dark rum (I like brandy better)
1 and 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
freshly grated nutmeg

The directions are simple. In the induction phase of the low-carb lifestyle, you should leave out the alcohol.

Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Combine the milk and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer, and then gradually whisk it into the eggs. Place the new mixture back into the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Cook while whisking it constantly until it reaches 175 degrees. This should take between 1 and 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat. Whisk in the sweetener, the alcohol, the cream and the vanilla. Let it cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate it until cold. About 1 hour will be good. After you have poured it into the glasses, you can dust it with the nutmeg.

Fairly easy, and a great holiday treat makes this eggnog irresistible.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why Breakfast?

In the last post I talked a little bit about breakfast. This post, I am going to go more in depth.

Statistics show that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The Mayo Clinic has found that people who eat breakfast in the morning have more energy throughout the day, have better chance of weight loss, and perform better due to increased concentration.

Schools with low-income students are required to serve breakfast at reduced prices, or free to those who qualify. The reason: students who eat breakfast perform better. You can often see teachers eating cafeteria breakfast, also, because they know the part it plays in overall success.

During standardized testing, most classroom teachers have snacks for the time between each test, because eating something healthy can give your brain that extra boost you need.

Keep this in mind the next time you think you don't have time for breakfast. Make time for breakfast. It's imperative that you fuel your body for the day that lay ahead. Weather it's few slices of bacon, some cottage cheese and peaches, or a hard boiled egg, give yourself something to hold you over until lunch, which in this busy world may come until dinnertime.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Most Important Meal of the Day

One of the things that seems to be difficult is to find something low carb to eat in the mornings. Breakfast has always been a meal of pastries and sweets. Muffins typically have over 600 calories. Of course, they do make low fat muffins, but that tastes like eating the cardboard box that they were shipped in. Even though you know you should avoid fast food, when you are running out the door in the morning, and you realize that you are starving, and you know you can't make it through to lunch, you end up hitting the drive through.

Here's the way to solve this problem. The following recipe can be prepared on Sunday night. It's enough to last through the entire week. I like to make the casserole, and take it to work in single serving sizes. That way, when I get to work, and everyone else is eating McGriddles and Breakfast Burritos, I can heat a serving up in the microwave, and I have breakfast, too.

Follow these directions, and your casserole will make others want to trade their breakfast for yours.

You will need:
8 eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
salt/pepper
1/2 pound pork sausage or half a pound crisp bacon
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
4 Tbsp cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the sausage or bacon in small pieces. For sausage, just use a fork to break it apart while cooking it. If you are using bacon, my advice is to cut it with kitchen shears right into the pan. While that is cooking, you can be mixing the eggs, salt and pepper, and cream together. Stir the meat and both cheeses into the egg mixture with a spoon. Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish, and bake it for 45 minutes.

Enjoy.