May 28, 2013

Are You Using Too Much Heavy Cream in Your Coffee?

Mindlessly Pouring Heavy Cream Into Your Coffee Can Cause Your Weight Loss to Stall
Are Extra Calories
Sneaking Into Your
Low-Carb Diet?
I ran into an interesting thread over at Low Carb Friends today. One of the senior members there has lost almost 50 pounds.

Because weight loss never travels in a straight line, he wanted to share how several week ago, he stalled just a few pounds above his goal weight.

Like most of us who have experienced a stall at one time or another, he felt frustrated and helpless, but luckily, he was able to hold onto what he had accomplished so far.

Not everyone does.

Those last pesky pounds can really put up a strong fight.

If you have reached that point in your weight-loss journey yourself, or if you have found yourself on a lengthy plateau, it's time to take a serious look at your everyday habits, so you can make a few adjustments.

While no one wants to hear that further dietary changes must be made, there is no way to know what's wrong until you look.

At the suggestion of others, the man decided to spend a week carefully weighing out his food and beverages, recording everything, so he could take a closer look at the end of the week.

His largest calorie hog?

Heavy whipping cream in his coffee!

May 04, 2013

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo With a Low-Carb Fiesta!

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo With a Low-Carb Fiesta!
(Photo by Paul Stein)

I’ve never been able to get too excited about low-carb recipes that try to trick your mind into believing you’re eating something that tastes as good as the high-carb foods and recipes you used to love. Because they don’t. If the mind is craving potato salad, steamed cauliflower mixed with mayo isn’t going to taste like potatoes. Even when you add pickles, olives, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and green onions to make it look like potato salad, it’s still going to taste like cauliflower mixed with mayo. Something similar happens to the taste buds when you try to make your own low-carb tortillas.

Since I don’t eat low-carb tortillas, it has been difficult coming up with a list of decent low-carb substitutes for the tacos, enchiladas, and burritos that are traditionally used to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. If your carbohydrate tolerance has room for an occasional 30 to 35 net-carb dinner, or you can safely eat 60 net carbs per day, you can do alright with a couple of corn tortillas (22 net carbs, 120 calories), salad, and vegetables, but many low-carb dieters cannot afford to eat that many carbs at a single meal.

What is Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo means the fifth of May. It’s often confused with Mexican Independence Day, but it celebrates their liberation from European invaders that occurred during the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Surprisingly, Cinco de Mayo isn’t a major holiday in Mexico. It’s only celebrated in the state of Puebla, where the battle took place. It’s a much larger holiday in the U.S. That’s because activists in the ‘60s wanted a way to raise the awareness of the American people for Mexican culture. It worked. Americans love to party! And Cinco de Mayo made a tasty holiday with all of those tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.

Cinco de Mayo Low-Carb Fiesta Ideas

A Mexican feast isn’t a feast without salsa and chips, but on a low-carb diet, tortilla chips are not on the acceptable foods list. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the salsa, but you do have to find something different to dip in it. How about some crunchy pork rinds, homemade cheese chips, or microwaved pepperoni slices? My kids used to open up a package of cream cheese, plop it onto a salad plate, pour some salsa over the top, and then scoop it all up with low-carb almond thins. And while you at it, don’t forget to open up an avocado or two for some delicious guacamole.

Burrito Bowl: Just as sandwiches and burgers can be eaten without the bread, tacos, enchiladas, and burritos can also be eaten in a bowl without the tortillas. To make it easy, and more tasty, simply throw your meat (chicken, beef, or pork) into a crock pot, add some chopped onions, bell peppers, garlic, and a can or two of green chilies, and then let it cook on low heat for the day. You could also add a can of black soybeans, drained, some green salsa, or chopped tomatillos if you want to.

At dinner time, simply smash the mixture into chunks or shreds, and scoop it into a bowl. You can top the burrito filling with salsa, sour cream, grated cheese, diced avocado, sliced olives, green onions, or some chopped jalapenos.

Mexican Fajitas: This is traditionally made with sliced beef or chicken, but you could use pork, turkey breast, or even shrimp if you wanted to. Slice the meat into thin slices (keep shrimp whole), then cut each slice into thick matchsticks. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle the meat with about 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Add 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and a little sweet basil. Some garlic and onion powder would also be nice. Allow the meat to marinate for several hours to tenderize.

At serving time, slice up some onions, jalapeno peppers, and sweet bell peppers. It’s prettier if you use a couple of different colored peppers. Drain the meat well, then saute it with the veggies in a large frying pan until it’s as done as you like it. Add some chopped cilantro and continue cooking until the cilantro wilts. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

While you don’t have to stick with traditional Cinco de Mayo foods, my life has been a bit crazy lately, so I haven’t been stepping out of the box too much. Plus, corn tortillas easily fit into my 60-carb meal plan.