Friday, March 28, 2014

Blueberry topping, great for cheesecake!

Status Update:  I lost 28 pounds during my first four weeks of being back on low carb after having taken several years off.  And, I have been eating good food both in restaurants and at home.


For a quick and easy breakfast, I eat a slice of  low carb cheesecake.  The other day, I made a big improvement!  I created a blueberry sauce to go on top of it!  This is my first new low-carb recipe since I published my recipe book several years ago.

Blueberry Sauce
12 net carbs for 1 1/2 cups.

Ingrediants:
1 c. wild blueberries (these are the tiny ones and have less carbs)
1/2 c. water
1/2 t. xanthem gum
artificial sweetener to taste (I like liquid sucralose the best)

Instructions:
Add ingredients to sauce pan.  Whisk over medium heat until it begins boiling.  Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until the sauce begins to thicken.  Remove from heat and chill.  Sauce will continue to thicken as is cools.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Promotion - Save $5 on my cookbook!


I am now offering a discount to blog readers who purchase my cookbook from my online store:  https://www.createspace.com/3549210

The new price for my blog readers is $9.99, a savings of $5.00.  Simply log onto the online store and enter the promotion code "A34FRYCB" at checkout.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lack of sleep makes you hungry

New research from Uppsala University, Sweden, shows that a specific brain region that contributes to a person's appetite sensation is more activated in response to food images after one night of sleep loss than after one night of normal sleep. Poor sleep habits can therefore affect people's risk of becoming overweight in the long run. The findings are published in theJournal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.


The research described in this article backs up what I already know from personal experience: The less quality sleep we get, the more our body craves energy rich foods. While the article discusses sleep loss rather than the poor quality sleep, I think scientists should be able to note similar patterns in those who suffer from sleep apnea, abnormal breathing while sleeping. Common symptoms include loud snoring, restless sleep, and sleepiness during the daytime. Often with sleep apnea, doctors say it is caused by being obese. While it may be a contributing factor, I think that sleep apnea itself increases appetite and contributes to gaining weight. Therefore, treating sleep apnea may be yet another way to keep your weight in check.


I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments on this blog entry.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On-line Low Carb Shopping Kicks A$$

This morning I made another netrition.com order.  I love this place.  It's easy to find good diet foods and vitamins on this website.  And, it sure beats running around to 3 or 4 grocery stores to find everything I need.  And, no matter how much you order, you have a small fixed shipping cost that is offset in my state by not having to pay sales tax.  Today, I bought vitamins, sweetener, and sugar free adult beverage mixers. 

First and foremost, the reason for my order was to get some more Baja Bob's drink mixers.  I don't know of anywhere else to buy low-carb sugar free mixes to make Margaritas and other frozen beverages.  Honestly, the Baja Bob's original margaritas taste better than most high-carb sugary margarita mixes.  You'd never know it was diet.  The powdered version is much cheaper than by the liter and I actually like better because I can mix it a bit stronger and keep the drink nice and thick with ice.

While on the netrition website, I also searched for liquid sucralose and found it.  I can't wait to try the EZ Sweetz and hope it is as good as the sweetzfree that I usually buy on line elsewhere.  I'll let you guys know how it is once I try it. 

And finally, I am buying 3 different types of Biotin.  My children have a biotinidaise deficiency and must take this daily. I purchased tablets, capsules, and lozenges.   If they can swallow them easily, I will come back for more.  Netrition has many other vitamins for sale.  I suggest you try chromium to help your body burn fat.

Today's order:

Qty   SKU           Description
3       177-0007   Baja Bob's Original Margarita Powdered
                            Mix 1 packet / $3.99
1       177-0008   Baja Bob's Wild Strawberry Margarita
                            Powdered Mix 1 packet / $3.99 
1       177-0015   Baja Bob's Tropical Trouble Hurricane
                           Mix 1 liter / $5.99
2       520-0001   EZ-Sweetz Liquid Sucralose 0.5 oz / $6.99
1       64-0008     Nature's Way Biotin, 1000 mcg 100
                            lozenges / $5.49
1       69-0966     Natrol Biotin, 10,000mcg - Maximum
                            Strength 100 tablets / $6.49
1       153-0207   NOW Biotin, 5000mcg 60 capsules / $5.49

Itemized Subtotal $53.40
Shipping - UPS Ground $4.95
Grand total is $58.35

Friday, January 21, 2011

Big Daddy D's Low Carb Cookbook is now available!

My low carb cookbook is now available!  This is simply a collection of the fantastic delicious and healthy recipes from this website in a handy book format that you can keep in your kitchen.  CLICK HERE to access the online store.  This book will also soon be available on Amazon.com, other online retailers, and possibly some retail stores.

Big Daddy D's Low Carb Cookbook


Since August of 2006 Daron Rainer has been the author of the weight loss blog "Big Daddy D's lowcarbohydrate.blogspot.com". He is neither a dietitian nor a doctor. In fact, his only credentials are that he lost 85 pounds and loves to cook. For several years, Big Daddy D has experimented in his kitchen finding ways to make everything he craves but in a low-carb way. The recipes in this cookbook are reprinted from his blog and include various comments from his blog readers. Whether you are trying to lose weight or are diabetic, this book will bring you comfort.

Publication Date: Jan 22 2011
ISBN/EAN13: 1456546570 / 9781456546571
Page Count: 150
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Cooking / Health & Healing / Weight Control

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mediterranean Chicken with Yogurt Sauce - 3 net carbs per serving

I am almost ashamed to admit that I am no longer following a low-carbohydrate lifestyle.  However, there are many things I cook such as this that are low-carb and as such I thought I'd share it with you.

My wife and I recently moved from Lexington to Northern Kentucky, just outside of Cincinnati.  One of our favorite restaurants that we are leaving behind is called Oasis which is considered Mediterranean but is more precisely Lebanese.  Since we will no longer be able to eat there weekly, I decided to learn how to cook some of our favorite Mediterranean dishes.  This recipe is my take on the yogurt chicken which is one of my favorites from Oasis.  The aroma as it cooks is absolutely to die for. 

6 servings at about 3 net carbs per serving.
Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt    
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon Juice                    
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
6 boneless chicken breasts

Instructions:
Whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic salt.  For marinade, put half of yogurt mixture in another bowl.  To marinade, add in cumin and chili powder then whisk.  The remaining yogurt mixture (without the cumin and chili powder) is a sauce which will be used later.

Coat chicken with marinade and let set for at least 20 minutes.

Grill chicken for about 8 or 9 minutes on each side over medium heat.  During the winter, you can grill on a "George Foreman" type grill (adjust cooking time accordingly).  I often use a cast iron grill over my stove top.

Microwave sauce for one minute so that it is at room temperature or slightly warm.  The idea here is to simply keep the sauce from being cold.

Plate chicken and spoon yogurt sauce over top.

Serving Suggestions:  If you can afford the carbs, serve over a bed of rice or moc-rice.  Garnish with parsley and chives mixed with a small amount of olive oil.  This main course goes excellent with my thintoush Mediterranean salad.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mediterranean Salad - 4 net carbs per serving

My wife and I love Mediterranean foods.  One of my favorite dishes is fattoush salad.  It is pronounced "fat-toosh" which sounds an awful lot like the word fat "tush" (ie. fat buttocks).  What gives fattoush it's name is the pieces of crispy baked pita chips mixed into the salad.  The veggie ingredients vary from recipe to recipe but the dressing remains roughly the same.  So, here is my version of a thintoush salad.  You can leave out the pita or try the other options I offer you. 

4 servings at 4 net carbs per serving.

Salad Ingredients:
2 cups Romain lettuce   
3 tablespoons olive oil 
1 tomato                     
2 cucumbers               
3 green onions           
1/4 cup fresh parsley  

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup lemon juice  
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sumac  (a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern spice)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Instructions:
Chop up salad ingredients and put in bowl.  Mix together dressing ingredients.  Pour dressing over salad and toss salad. 

Optionally:  If your diet can afford it add 1 cup toasted pita or pita chips (about 20 net carbs).  If not, you can make your own by deep frying low carb tortillas, low carb pita, or low carb flatout (carbs vary).  Or, for the lowest carbs, simply eat the salad without the fattoush (pita chips). 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake

The holidays are almost here.  Thanksgiving is a time with many temptations.  But if you are the one cooking it can still be fulfilling AND low carb.  Click here for my pumpkin cheesecake recipe.  It's even better than pumpkin pie. 

I posted this recipe many years ago.  At the time, I called for a crust.  I no longer use crusts on my cheesecakes. Sometimes I just grease the pan and dump in the filling.  Other times, I grease and coat with a dusting of ground almonds.  Either way, it's fabulous.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Falling off...

Why is it that I find it so hard to not fall off the wagon?  And then once off, it is so easy to find excuses to stay off.  About a month ago, when my son was born, I was very short on sleep and spending most waking hours around the hospital.  I was very tired and low on energy which means my body was craving energy dense high carb foods.  Plus for convenience sake, I was stuck with mostly fast-food restaraunts as options.  A salad from McDonalds just didn't seem to be what my body wanted.  So, I slipped.  I ran over to Rally's and bought a burger and fries.  But, I didn't stop there.  I thought to myself, "hey, you already gave in... why not grab a candy bar from the gift shop?  Maybe 2 of them."  I told myself that I'd go back on the diet once I got the family home.  But, I didn't follow through. 

You know, the low-carb diet is not bad at all.  And as long as I don't have many carbs in my system, my body usually doesn't crave sweets nor breads.  So, why is it so hard to get back up there, on the wagon.  How come it's so easy to push it off to anohter day?  Next month, I will be spending some time in Mexico.  Now, instead of going back on the diet, I'm telling myself, "when you return from Mexico, you should go back on the diet.".  Why is it that I tell myself to wait when I know it's best for me to change my habits now?  Even if it was too difficult to do low-carb abroad, I could squeeze in a few more weeks of low-carb before I go.   It's hard to understand the inner workings of my mind.  Why is the short term small high from carbs such a powerful de-motivating factor? 

Luckily, even off-the-band-wagon, I haven't gained back much weight.  But I haven't been losing fat either.  Thanfully, I have had some physical activity from planting my vegitable garden as well as other yard.  Without this, I'm not sure if I'd have gained more weight. 

For now, no promises on when I will return.  I might find motivation here in the next few days or I may just return to the lifestyle when I return to the country after 2-3 weeks in Pueblo, Mexico.  I'm just not sure yet.  Pathetic, huh? 

On a side-note:  A couple of days ago, I bought Wii Fit Plus to replace my old classic Wii fit.  And, I'm happy to say that even with clothing on, I am still under the 330 pound weight limit.  I'm not much into the exercise routines but find the balance games to be fun.  My 4 year old son likes to play them with me.

Friday, April 2, 2010

How Many Calories Do You Burn a Day Breastfeeding?

I'm sitting in my wife's post-partem hospital room watching her breastfeed while I serf the net. I'm pondering how many calories are "burned" by breastfeeding. And, after a quick web search, I found the answer.

Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories a day with the typical range to be from 200 to 600 calories burned a day. It's estimated that the production of one ounce of breast milk burns 20 calories.

This is according to eHow.com: How Many Calories Do You Burn a Day Breastfeeding? eHow.com .

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Big Daddy is Having Another Baby

Tonight, I take my wife to the hospital and in the morning they induce labor.  This will be my second son.  The first is almost 4 years old.  You can read more on The Expecting Father blog.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Little Known Ways to Prevent Diabetes with Fitness

Reprinted with permission of author Su Rollins who writes for hypoglycemic diet plan, her personal hobby blog focused on tips to prevent and cure hypoglycemia using the right diet and nutrition.

What effect does exercise have on glucose levels?

It is quite easy to manage diabetes when you incorporate a program for exercise in your daily routine. Such exercises have been shown to have positive effects for people who are suffering from diabetes, especially those who have low glucose levels. One example is exercise being able to channel muscle energy, convert it into glucose and then using that glucose as fuel. At the start of it, the body will just use the glucose that has been converted into glycogen from one’s muscles. Glucose is also found in your bloodstream. If you maintain a long term exercise program, it is highly likely that the levels of your blood glucose will not dip. Also, glucogen and other hormones found in your body will also be released. These hormones and glucogen work together and break down all of the liver’s stored fat and then converting such stored fat into more glucose. It is best that you engage in exercise frequently, because your body will improve. It will develop a sensitivity to insulin, as well as help you gain better control of the body’s glycemic index.

Why is the effect of exercise on glucose levels important to those with type 2 diabetes?

Exercise, as mentioned before, has an effect on the levels of glucose. This is important for people who have type 2 diabetes. Many studies show that diabetes patients have better control of their glycemic when they exercise regularly. Those who do not have a regular exercise regimen are not better off. With exercise, your insulin sensitivity improves. This translates to having to use fewer medicines in order to have control over one’s blood sugar levels. Sometimes, people who have type 2 diabetes are somewhat at risk of hypoglycemia, which is exercise-induced. This is during and also after exercise. Then again, there are also some patients who have poor control of their diabetes and are also high risk for hyperglycemia.

Should patients with type 2 diabetes exercise more often or differently than otherwise healthy people?

There are, of course, people who become at risk for hypoglycemia due to the combined effects of their diabetes and engaging in high stress exercise. This happens during exercise and after it, too. If you think about it though, people can also be at risk for hyperglycemia simply for having poor control over their diabetes. Therefore, the leaders in this field recommend engaging in moderate exercise for a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes, or 90 minutes if they want to do vigorous exercise.

What type of exercise is best for type 2 diabetes patients?

In light of this, the frequency of the routine is more important that the kinds of exercise one engages in. There are many researches wherein an abundance of benefits result from both weight training as well as aerobic activity.

When should patients be discouraged from exercising?

There are times when you one shouldn’t exercise, especially if you are at risk for cardiac conditions .It is best to start slowly and tentatively just to be safe.

About the Author - Su Rollins writes for hypoglycemic diet plan , her personal hobby blog focused on tips to prevent and cure hypoglycemia using the right diet and nutrition.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Netrition Order - Product Reviews

Recently, I posted about a Netrition order in which I purchased several items I'd not tried before.  Below is my opinion of these products:

153-0114 NOW Almond Flour, Unblanched 10 oz. $4.69 - Pretty much your typical unblanched almond meal.  Because it's unblanched, it's a darker color.  The bag is somewhat smaller than I am used to but the price per ounce is quite a bit lower than many other brands. 

394-0047 Walden Farms Syrup, Blueberry 12 fl oz $3.79 - This is pretty good.  It tastes like real blueberries.  Mixed in Hood Calorie Countdown milk and it tastes a bit like the milk in the bottom of a cereal bowl where real blueberry's had been added.  It would make an awesome pancake syrup.  Other than this, I can't think of many uses.

230-0008 Bob's Red Mill Low Carb Bread Mix 1 lb. $4.39 - It's just okay.  As with many low-carb breads, there is a mild displeasing after taste.  It's not bad but it's not great.

230-0009 Bob's Red Mill Low Carb Baking Mix 1 lb. $4.39 - This has pretty much the same ingredients as the bread mix.  I've not tried it yet but expect it to taste about the same.

443-0001 Toufayan Bakeries Low Carb Pita Bread 6 pack $$3.09 - These are a bit thicker and more bready than Joseph's Pita but not as big of round.  They have a very subtle soy-like taste but it's not overpowering.  While I do like them, I think I still like Joseph's brand pita better.  It's really just a question of do you like your pita soft and bread-like or thin and more tortilla like.  If you like it bready then this pita is for you.

464-0004 Joseph's Middle East Bakery Reduced Carb/Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Tortillas 6 tortillas $2.79 - A bit on the rubbery side.  I still prefer the Mission brand low-carb tortillas even though they have a higher carb count.

464-0005 Joseph's Middle East Bakery Reduced Carb/Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Lavash Bread 4 square breads $2.99 - The sheets of Lavash were stuck together.  I had a very difficult time pulling them apart without tearing.  If they didn't stick together so bad, I think I'd prefer these over just about any low-carb tortillas.  But due to their being hard to pull apart, I will not buy again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Crustless Ground Turkey Quiche - 2 net carbs per serving

My wife made this easy quiche for dinner tonight and it was terrific.  We made it with ground turkey but I imagine it would be equally good with ground beef or sausage. 






Servings:  8 @ 2 net carbs each.

Ingredients

1 lb. ground turkey
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar
4 eggs
1/2 cup mayonaise
salt & pepper
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Brown meat in skillet.  Transfer to 10 inch pie pan.  Sprinkle with onion and cheddar cheese.  Beat eggs with mayonaise, salt & pepper, and evaoporated milk.  Pour over meat in pie pan.  Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Making another Netrition order...

I just placed a new Netrition order.  The $4.95 for shipping is not much different than the sales tax that I would have had to pay if I bought at the local grocery store.  I can honestly only say good things about Netrition. The delivery is fast and everything has always arrived fresh.  I am telling you about it and I advertise for them because I like their company and want to share it with you.


 
 
These are items I like and have bought before:


  • 177-0005 Baja Bob's Loco Lemon Sweet-n-Sour Mix 1 liter $5.99  (Yes, I still drink alcohol)
  • 230-0001 Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour 1 lb. $8.99   (many uses)
  • 394-0048 Walden Farms Syrup, Strawberry 12 fl oz $3.79   (yummy in Hood Calorie Countdown milk)
  • 464-0001 Joseph's Middle East Bakery Reduced Carb/Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Pita Bread 6 pack $2.99 (Awesome! We can hold our food again!)
  • 89-0959 Atkins Nutritionals Ready-to-Drink Shakes, Cafe Caramel Shake, 11 oz 4 pack $6.99 (Quick breakfast for the road)

These are items I am buying for the first time.  I'll be sure to let everyone know if they are any good:
 
  • 153-0114 NOW Almond Flour, Unblanched 10 oz. $4.69
  • 394-0047 Walden Farms Syrup, Blueberry 12 fl oz $3.79
  • 230-0008 Bob's Red Mill Low Carb Bread Mix 1 lb. $4.39
  • 230-0009 Bob's Red Mill Low Carb Baking Mix 1 lb. $4.39
  • 443-0001 Toufayan Bakeries Low Carb Pita Bread 6 pack $$3.09
  • 464-0004 Joseph's Middle East Bakery Reduced Carb/Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Tortillas 6 tortillas $2.79
  • 464-0005 Joseph's Middle East Bakery Reduced Carb/Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Lavash Bread 4 square breads $2.99

Weight, it's not really a stall... again!

Once again, over the last two weeks, I have experienced no significant weight loss.  But, the waist-line keeps getting smaller.  Ketosis sticks are still showing moderate levels so I know I'm burning fat.  If I were to only be watching the scale, I would be very frustrated right now.  Lesson for my readers:  measure progress in inches, not pounds.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A few foods I like...

These are some of my favorite foods right now...


Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Flour Pita Bread.  I stumbled across this at my local Walmart.  It's only 4 net carbs per piece.  I can toss them in a toaster and they crisp up enough to use in dips.  They have pockets which I can stuff with sandwich fillings.  Yesterday, I fixed some with chicken salad. 



Ocean Spray diet blueberry-pomegranate.  Ocean Spray has recently come out with several additions to their diet juice line.  Most have about 2 or 3 net carbs per 8 oz. serving.  My favorite is the blueberry-pomegranate.  This definitely satisfies my cravings for fruit juice.


Mission cab-balance tortillas.  There are many different sizes.  The ones that I buy have only 7 net carbs per tortilla.  This is much higher than other low-carb tortillas but they taste so much better.  My wife and I actually like them better than real tortillas because they don't split or crack when you pack them too full.

Lose weight in two weeks!

My 3 year old son Skylar has been exposed to too many commercials about dieting.  This morning at breakfast, he was eating Special K cereal and said, "If I eat this I will lose weight in two weeks!" 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Please excuse my bitch session

Right now, I'm insanely busy. My wife is pregnant. The baby is due mid April but we may take him out a bit early. So at home we are getting the house ready. My home office has moved into the master bedroom. The 3 year old has moved into my office and we are trying to turn his old room into a nursury. My 3 bedroom, 2200 square foot house once seemed enormous to me but now seems way too small. I'm thinking of buying my parent's house in Cincinnati when they move into a new house that they are currently building. In the meantime, at work my 5 year information systems project is coming to a head with our first North American implementation going live next week at one manufacturing plant in Mexico and one in Indiana. My company originally asked me to be in Mexico the entire month of March, which I refused. I absolutely will not be out of the country during my wife's 3rd tri-mester. At the same time, we are preparing to role the new systems out in 6 more plants in July. So, I am on the road more than ever. After July, I don't have any idea what I'll be doing at work. My project will be done. They want me to either work in California or Canada both of which would suck as I'd only be home on the weekends. I'm sick of being on the road. Anybody know of any good paying ERP or logistics jobs in Cincinatti?


I'll be working from home next week and in Indiana the following week. When I return, they will make a decision on when to induce labor on my wife. And I am taking off a week whenever the baby is born.... plus it'll be hard for the company to get me out of my home office for a while.

But anway, the point I am trying to make is that my life is crazy busy right now. I've got more work on my plate than any normal person plus more than I can get done at home on the weekends.

And throughout all of this, I am dieting. With all of this stress, I wonder if I'd be losing weight even if I wasn't "on a diet". I lost a little over 3 pounds this week. At this rate, I'm guessing that I can reach my target weight in six to nine months... just a little too late to wear a speedo at the beach this summer (yeah, right!).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weight, it's not really a stall.

Today is the second Friday in a row that I weighed 315 pounds.  But, I'm not worried.  It's not really a stall.  My waist and hips are both an inch smaller than they were last week.  And, for the first time in a long while, I checked my urine with a ketosis stick.  It measured 1.5, meaning that I have small amounts of ketones in my urine.  The positive ketone reading proves that my body is indeed still burning fat. 

"What the heck is going on?", you may ask.  Obviously I am losing fat.  My lean body weight calculation says that I have gained 4 pounds of non-fat. So, I am either gaining muscle, retaining water, or have former food sitting in my digestive track.  I'd like to believe that I have gained muscle.  It is unlikely because I've had little to no exercise.  But then again, I could be gaining muscle due to increased protein intake.  However most likely, it is because I ate some salty pistachio nuts last night as a snack.  The salt is probably causing my body to hold onto water.

My advise to my readers is:  Don't trust the scale.  Measure your success in inches not pounds. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Blogs that I Follow

For those of you looking for good low-carb blogs to follow, I have a companion feeds site:


Here you will find a list of blogs with links to their most recent posts by topic.  If any of you know of any good low-carb blogs that I'm not aware of, please respond to this post with their links so that I can add them.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Progress Report

I am happy to report that I can now play with my Wii fit without first taking off my clothing (Wii balance boards have a 330 pound weight limit).  In about a month, I have lost over twenty pounds.  For the first 3 weeks, I lost between 4 & 5 pounds per week.  During the 4th and 5th week, progress has slowed resulting in under 2 pounds lost per week.  I had hoped that having 1 carb up day per week would prevent this slow-down but it apparently hasn't.  My calculated lean body weight has dropped about one pound which means there has been no real muscle loss.  My waist and hip measurements haven't changed much in the last two weeks but I can see a big difference in my face and neck.  So, because I am making progress and have not plateaued, I will continue with my current strategy.

For those of you who are new to this blog, my current strategy is to keep meals under 15 net carbs.  Snacks under 10 net carbs and not within an hour of a meal or another snack.  The idea is not to limit daily carb intake but to avoid blood sugar spikes.  Essentially, I'm using low-carb to control my glycemic load.  Also, I am taking 1 day off of the diet per week in hopes that it will prevent my body from going into starvation/conservation mode thereby avoiding plateaus. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cheese Crisps - about a 1/2 carb each

Last night, I was experimenting with making cheese crisps.  These are snacks similar to crackers or tortilla chips  made out of cheese.  They're quite simple to make.  I tried three kinds last night:  American cheese (the real stuff, not cheese "food"), cheddar cheese, and pepper jack cheese "food".   The American cheese slices I cut into 16 squares a little less than an inch across.  The other cheeses I just sliced thinly off the end of the block.  All three turned out with very different textures.  The American cheese crisps were the most crunchy and reminded me a little of tortilla chips.  The cheddar ones were a bit greasy with little bubble holes in them but still yummy.  The pepper jack cheese "food" turned out with a similar texture to a saltine cracker.  I will continue to experiment with different types of cheese and share the results on my blog. 

As I was munching on these this morning during work, I was thinking about my crunchy taco recipe.  For the tacos, I told everyone to use cheddar.  After last night's experiment with cheese crisps, I think I'm going to try tacos with American cheese next time.  On a side-note, I just received a blog comment this morning from someone talking about cheese crisps and taco shells.  Isn't it awesome how life is full of little synchronicities like this? 

Cheese Crisp Recipe 

Servings:  As many as you want.  Check the cheese package for carb counts.

Ingredients
Cheese  (American, Cheddar, Pepper Jack, you name it)
Optional Spices (salt, garlic powder, chili powder, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with silicon mat or parchment paper.  Do not grease.
  2. Cut cheese into desired size squares as 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.  Depending on the type of cheese you use, they may spread out or hold form.  American and cheddar will come out much larger with rounded edges even if cut into squares.  Some "un-real" cheese "foods" will hold their shape.
  3. If using spices, mix spices and toss cheese in them.  Or, sprinkle on just before baking.
  4. Spread squares out on lined cookie sheet. 
  5. Bake for about 8 minutes.  Cheese will crispen up as it cools.  After cooling, if rubbery then put back in the oven for another 2 minutes.
  6. Serve with dips, salsa, or enjoy plain.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Valentines Day Gift Idea

If your lover is on a low-carb diet, I have the perfect idea for a Valentines day gift.  Instead of a box of chocolates, give a netrition low carb gift box.  These gift boxes contain a variety of sugar free candy, low carb snacks, and baking mixes.  Now they can indulge in yummie comfort foods without cheating!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Eating Stella Style

About a month ago, in preparation to my starting my low-carb regiment, I picked up another low-carb cookbook.  I've tried six recipes out of it and must tell you that "Eating Stella Style" is the best low-carb cookbook I've come across.  Just about every recipe looks great.  The following is a summary of what I have tried so far from the book.

Some of the successes are:

  • Easy Tzatziki Sauce - a simple Greek cucumber cream sauce that is out of this world! 
  • Pork Souvlaki - marinated pork kabob (excellent with the Tzatziki sauce).
  • Crazy Egg Meatloaf - meatloaf with a twist... it's stuffed with whole boiled eggs.
  • Breadless Bread Pudding - This was a quite tasty dessert.  I think next time I will top it with blueberries or strawberries with whipped cream.  To me, it was nothing like bread pudding.  Really it's just a cheesecake with ricotta instead of cream cheese.  This is a traditional way to make cheesecakes in many cultures however very different from the cheese cake that you see in the United States. 
Failures:

  • Baked Zucchini Fries - This recipe is the only one so far that didn't work for me.  I didn't think it'd turn out right but thought it was worth trying.  The spices were overpowering and the "fries" never got crisp.  Even with the ends burnt the were soggy and floppy.  I'm not sure where I went wrong but don't plan on trying this one again. 
Even though the Zucchini fries didn't work, the rest of the recipes all look spectacular.  So far, 80% of what I've tried has been great.  It's by far my favorite low-carb cookbook.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Today is a "Carb Up" Day

I have lost 12 pounds in a little over a week.  Today is my first "carb-up" day.  My strategy of including "carb-up" days is very contraversial.  Most of my readers don't think "carb-up" days are helpful.  But by occasionally increasing carb intake, I am attempting to keep my metabolism from adjusting to the low-carb diet.  I am taking 4 days off each month, typically 1 day per week.  It was hard to take myself off the low-carb today as I've been on a great ketosis streak and have had few cravings for carby foods.  But I do believe that it is good to break the rapid weight loss streak as it should help sustain weight loss and avoid plataues over the long run.  Also, having floating "carb-up" days as part of my official plan allows me to eat the foods I am craving without feeling like a failure.  So, today I had pizza for lunch... one of my favorite foods and I have no reason to feel guilty.  It's all part of the weight loss strategy.  Tomorrow, I'm back to low-carb with only 3 more "carb-up" days available this month.  It will take me 2-3 days to get back into ketosis which is where the pounds fall off very quickly.  But it's worth it to protect my metabolism and to allow me to feel "normal" once in a while. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Status Update: End of Week 1

This week has gone pretty good.  I have lost 9 pounds, some of which I am sure is just water.  My waist has shrunk by 2 inches and my hips by 1 inch.  I feel good.  Other than a little sledding in the park, I have had almost no exercise.  The only vitamins I am taking are potassium and chromium.

Key Measurements:

Weight: 327 pounds
Waist:  Sucked in 52 inches, relaxed 55 inches, puffed out 57 inches.
Hips:  54 inches

Key Calculations:

Body Fat:  36.37%
Lean Weight 208.8 pounds (estimated)
Pounds Lost:  9
Pounds to left to lose:  92

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 5

It is the 5th day of the year and also the 5th day into my low-carb adventure.  I'm in Nashville, Tennessee this week.  For lunch yesterday, I at a Chili Relleno and Juevos con Chorizo (Eggs with Chorizo sausage) at a restaraunt called Las Palmas.  For dinner we went to the Long Horn steakhouse where I had a salad, sauteed mushrooms, and grilled Salmon.  Today, for breakfast, I choked down Drury Hotel scrambled eggs & sausage patties (tastes like it must contain lots of soy).  It's almost lunch time and I think we're going out for buffalo wings.  For snacking, I bought a 6 oz. can of Blue Diamond brand Bold Jalapeno Smokehouse Almonds which taste awesome.  Everything is going great except that I woke up yesterday with ketosis breath.  I had forgotten about this nasty side effect of rapid weight loss.  I know the bad breath can be improved by drinking lots of water to flush out ketones.  Regardless, I still bought a pack of sugar free chewing gum. 

Egg Salad for Sand-which - 1 net carb per serving

Here is a very low-carb, simple sand-which that I grew up on.  The recipe below is for two but you could make one big sand-which out of it.  I usually put this on low-carb bread which has six net carbs per slice but I suppose it could be served in other ways such as on a bed of lettuce. 

Servings: 2 at about 1 net carb each.

Ingredients

3 boiled eggs
2 T. green onion
1 T. yellow mustard
2 T. Mayonnaise
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. Boil eggs:  Place eggs in sauce pan with cold water.  Put on burner at high heat until water begins to boil.  Cook an additional 15 minutes.  Place pan in sink and run cold water into it until eggs are cool enough to handle. 
  2. Peal eggs and place in bowl.  With a fork, mash up eggs.  Mixed in diced green onion, mustard, mayo, salt, and pepper. 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years Resolution: Lose 100 pounds!

Yes, I am back.... up to 336 pounds that is.  This is exactly what I weighed when I started this blog and a low-carb diet back in 2006.  It is a tie with my previous all-time high.  I am very angry with myself for gaining back 85 pounds.  Why has it been so easy to put off starting a diet?  It was always, "well I'll begin next month" or "I'll begin after the holidays".  Well, the holidays have passed and I'm out of excuses to wait.  Besides, the new year is a fabulous time to start something new.  My New Year's resolution is to lose 100 pounds.  This may sound extreme, but I know it is possible.

For those of you who are new to my blog... you need to understand some of my key obstacles.  My job is the biggest problem.  I travel a great deal and am gone usually 3 to 4 nights a week.  Most of the time, I am staying in Nashville, Tennessee.  The hours at the Tennessee office are 7:30 to 6:30 PM.  My co-workers typically meet up at the hotel lobby around 7:00 PM to head out to dinner.  Considering that Nashville is on Central time and my home clock is Eastern, this is more like heading out to eat at 8:00 PM.  Which puts me back in the hotel around 10:00 PM or so just in time to get ready for bed.  Eating late and going straight to bed is a definite recipe for gaining weight.  Also, because I'm traveling, I can't cook and must dine out.  On top of this, I often find myself traveling overseas.  When dining in other countries, I find it difficult to ask for details of how food is prepared and in places like France, they frown on making substitutions or changes to their menu items.  When at home in Lexington, Kentucky, life is much easier on the diet.  But my wife is now pregnant and therefore is reluctant (rightly so) to join me on my diet.  Our 3 year old son and her may wind up eating different food than me or at least supplementing it with breads and other carby things that I can't eat.  This makes it impossibly to empty the house of temptations.  Medically speaking, I am obese and have sleep apnea but am otherwise healthy.

My stats as of January 1st, 2010:

Weight:  336 Pounds
Waist: Sucked in 54 inches,  Relaxed  57, Puffed out 57.5
Hips:  55
Thigh:  Left 34.5, Right 35
Calf:  Left 20, Right 21
Bicep:  Left 18, Right 19
Forearm:  Left 14, Right 14
Neck:  19
Chest:  51.5
Wrist:  7.5

Calculations:

BMI:  48
% Body Fat 39.2
Lean Weight 204 Pounds
Pounds of Fat:  132
Target Weight (15% body fat):  235 Pounds
Pounds to lose:  101

I am now on day 2 of my journey toward losing over 100 pounds.  Yesterday, I woke up late and had a ham and cheese omelet with low carb toast.  For dinner, I had a large green salad topped with a big portion of chicken salad (like you put on sandwiches.  Today, I had for breakfast bacon and eggs and a piece of low-carb toast.  For dinner, I've started a big batch of PJ's Divine Chili Verde.  This is a wonderful slow-cooked spicy soup made with pork and tomatillos.  I highly recommend you check out the recipe on the Divine Low Carb blog (thedivinelowcarb.blogspot.com).  I had bought a gigantic pork loin to make the soup and am marinating the rest of it for tomorrow's kabobs.

My strategy this time is as follows.  Keep all meals less than 15 net carbs.  I can have snacks under 10 net carbs as long as they aren't within one our of a meal or another snack.  Also, I will have 4 "carb up days" per month AKA cheat days.  Typically these will be 1 day per week but I will let them float and cluster if need be.  These days off the diet serve two purposes.  One, to keep my metabolism up and prevent my body from conserving energy or going into starvation mode.  And two, I can strategically use these days for special occasions such as birthdays vacations, etc. without feeling as if my will power wasn't strong enough.  This keeps me in a positive frame of mind and gives me something to look forward to.  My favorite carby foods are not out completely but are allowed only on these special "carb up" days.  The downside to this is that a "carb up" day will kick my body out of ketosis (fat burning mode).  Whenever ketosis is broken, it will take three or four days for me to get back into ketosis.  So I might not see those whopping 20 pound per month losses that are common in the first couple months of low-carbing.  But in the long term, I think this plan will prevent my body from trying to conserve energy and will therefore result in more weight loss for the long run.  I will explain my theory on weight loss in more detail in a future post.