Wednesday, March 26, 2008

French Crepes - 0.5 net carbs each

It has been a while since I have posted a recipe. Having been working a great deal in France lately, I am learning to appreciate different styles of cooking. The French tend to add flavor with fats and rich sauces rather than spices. I've really come to enjoy these sauces. Their desserts have amazing textures but are typically not very sweet. And their version of fast food is often a filled crepe.

In France, there are many crepe restaurants and street vendors. It is amazing how many different kinds of desserts and sandwiches the French make with crepes. Before spending time in France, I had thought of crepes as a breakfast food to be eaten like a pancake. I have come to find that crepes are not just for breakfast and are not always sweet. Some toppings are added after the crepes are cooked, some are added just after flipping the crepe. For example, after flipping, they sometimes spread a thin layer of raw egg topped with cheese and ham. The toppings heat as the second side of the crepe cooks. The filled crepes are then usually folded in half and then the corners brought in making a triangular "sandwich" that is easy to carry. Unlike the French crepes, mine are made with protein powder and therefore very low in carbs.

Servings: 8 crepes at 0.5 net carbs each. Be sure to add carbs for fillings.


Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 egg whites
1 T. water
4 oz. cream cheese (nuke 1 min. to soften)
3 T. soy protein powder (plain)
1/2 t. baking powder
Butter for pan.


Instructions:

  1. Whisk the eggs and water by hand. Add cream cheese. Whisk. It may have little clumps, this is okay. Add soy protein powder and baking powder. Whisk until well blended. Using an electric mixer or over whisking may produce foam that is undesirable.
  2. Heat skillet on medium low setting. Add butter and swirl around until melted and coating the pan evenly.
  3. For my carb count, each crepe consists of 3 T. of batter. Pour into pan in a spiral motion, starting from the middle, working your way out. If necessary, use a spoon, spatula or squeegee to spread out more evenly. The entire crepe should be 8 inches in diameter. You can use more batter to make larger just be sure to adjust the carb count accordingly.
  4. Cook until edges start looking dry and crepe is firm enough to flip. If desired, toppings can be added now. Cook on other side for a few seconds then remove from pan.
  5. Repeat steps 3 to 4 until all batter is used up.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Airplane Food

Recently, I have been flying across the Atlantic Ocean two times per month. I thought that I'd be smart and request diabetic meals. My expectation was that these meals would be low carb. I was wrong. In fact, I'm not even convinced that the "diabetic" meals are lower in sugar than the regular meals. These meals typically come with a very small portion of meat on top of rice. On the side is bread, crackers, cheese, salad, and fruit. One time the fruit was strawberries and blueberries which is good. But more often it is grapes and cantaloupe which is bad. My last "diabetic" breakfast consisted of a bagel, "low sugar" jelly, cantaloupe, and orange juice. The "normal" breakfast would have been almost the same except with a croissant and regular jelly.

Status Update, Nutrisystem, & Low Carb on the Go

Status Update: During my one year of sticking with low carb, I lost 85 pounds. I was down to 251 pounds, only 15 pounds away from my original goal. I have been off of the "diet" now for nearly six months. And, I have re-gained 24 pounds. I still feel so much better than I did prior to the weight loss. But, something must be done before I get too fat and start feeling pains associated with severe obesity.

When I went off of the "diet", I promised myself that I'd return to it when I gained more than 25 pounds back. And, I am now only one pound away from this "upper limit". So, here's the plan... When I return from my cruise in early April, I will go back to watching what I eat. I am committing to stick with a dietary plan at least until I am within my ideal weight range based on my gender and percentage of body fat. This will likely mean a minimum of six more months of dieting. I am not yet sure what I will do for maintenance once the goal is reached.

Nutrisystem: My wife is considering trying Nutrisystem. From what I have read, I think it looks like a very good diet. Nutrisystem is based on the glycemic index which measures how fast carbohydrates enter the bloodstream. The basic idea is to avoid insulin spikes. In this way, it is very similar to low carb diets. However, this is much more complex than simply counting net carbs. And, there is no extensive guide book in which to look up the glycemic index for most foods. Therefore, to follow the Nutrisystem diet, you must purchase Nutrisystem meals. And, we're not sure what to expect in the quality, taste, and size of these meals. If my wife goes onto Nutrisystem, I am hoping to try it with her when I am in town. Unfortunately, I will be working in Paris, France 50-75% over the next several months. This makes doing straight Nutrisystem nearly impossible.

Low Carb on the Go: On travel days, I plan to stick with the Protein Power Plan. During this time, I will be staying in a hotel which has a small dorm style fridge and a microwave. This presents a challenge. I need to find low carb breakfast foods that I can be eat cold or cook in a microwave. The ingredients must also be easy to buy in France. Short of cold cheese and poached eggs, I have no ideas. Another challenge will be that I dine out with co-workers in the evening. But, since I don't speak French, I often don't know exactly what I am ordering. And, it's hard to ask for substitutions when you can't communicate well. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.