Friday, May 30, 2008

Jicama Hash Browns - 5 net carbs

My wife and I both love jicama hashbrowns! These taste a bit sweeter than potato hashbrowns but are equally good if not better.

Makes two servings at 5 net carbs per serving.

Ingredients:

Splash of oil
2 cups coarsely grated jicama
1 t. dried onion flakes (optional, add one net carb)
Salt to taste

Instructions:

Grate jicama on a coarse cheese shredder. Heat oil in skillet on medium high. Add jicama and optional onion flakes. When brown, put them on paper towels then sprinkled with salt. Perfect side item for breakfast or dinner.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Living Comfortably

As I said in my last post, I decided to take a few days away from my diet until I was over my illness. And, after a few days, I got over my illness. But, I didn't return to my l0w-carb diet. Hopefully, I'll be on track again soon.

The first year of doing low-carb, I stayed very focused and lost 85 pounds. For the last six months or so, I've been alternating on and off plan. I gained some weight back. And, I lost most of it, again. But, I find it increasingly hard to stick with a plan. Why? I think it's because I am comfortable with my size. When I was 85 pounds heavier, I had back and foot pains and would tire very quickly. Now, I feel pretty good. Without weight related health problems, I have a hard time staying loyal to my diet plan. I don't think that there is anything wrong with the way I have conducted myself over the last six months. I just have to be very careful not to slide too far down the slippery slope of gluttony that resulted in my gaining so much in the first place. The real goal was to feel better. And, I do feel much better. Yes, I'm still obese. But, I'm no longer morbidly obese! I'm at a point where my body is happy.

So... this week, I'm off plan. But, I don't plan on straying too far away. I'm not sure when I'll be back on track. While off plan, I continue reading about low-carb and will keep posting. Even off plan, I'm conscious of what I consume and continue to eat some of my favorite low-carb dishes. I will likely return to the full blown low-carb lifestyle when my weight pops up another ten pounds, or I start feeling fat, or when my wife decides to diet again.

I have also picked up a couple books on glacemic load diets. All low carb diets are low glacemic diets but not all low glacemic diets are necessarily low-carb. As far as I can tell, a low glacemic load diets (such as the popular nutrisystem) will prevent fat storage but might not result in rapid fat loss. I'm not one to jump into something until I have studied it thoroughly and come up with a plan. After I finish studying this subject, I may give it a whirl. If nothing else, it might be a good maintenance plan. Perhaps beginning in August?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sick

I've been sick for a few days. And, I thought that perhaps it would help to allow some carbs back into my diet as they are quick to digest and provide lots of energy. I'm not going hog wild. Breakfast is sugar-free oatmeal. Other recent meals were steak w/ sweet potato, cheeseburger w/ fries, and chicken noodle soup. I'm really not sure what is best when your feeling ill... I suspect that the body will tell you what it needs in times like this. I'll probably go back to low-carb in a few more days once I am back to feeling myself again.

Also, just as an FYI -- I arrived in France yesterday. The weather is great here. I will be here two weeks followed by two weeks at home. Then, I return for almost three weeks in June. However, in June I will bring my 2 year old son, my wife, and my wife's 15 year old sister. That should be my last trip to France for a while. From July onward, I'll likely be spending a few days a week in Nashville, Tennessee instead. I can't wait! It will be so nice to once again have every weekend with my family! It will also be much easier to stick with low-carb when I can read every word on the menus and communicate requests for substitutions...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Low-Carb Cookbooks

I am always looking for good low-carb recipes. I thought it would be interesting to find out what cookbooks my readers like best. So, please comment! My personal favorite low-carb cookbook is The Low-Carb Cookbook: The Complete Guide to the Healthy Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle by Fran Mccullough. Most of the foods are quite easy to prepare. The book was published over ten years ago, so there are now better sweeteners that you can substitute. While I've not tried every recipe, I've yet to find one that I didn't like.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Gardening

My garden space is very small. I have one patch that is 10 ft. x 20 ft. And another small flowerbed that is about 6 ft. x 6ft.

Last night, I planted most of my garden. I still haven't done my spinach, radishes, nor cucumbers. I'll hopefully get these down today or tomorrow. What I have planted to far is the following:

  • 1 Stevia
  • 8 varieties of tomatoes... 3 better boys, 2 lemon boys (my favorite), 1 brandywine, 1 100-cherry, 1 roma, 1 rainbow, 1 Cherokee purple, 1 mariglobe (unsure what this is).
  • 10 different pepper plants ranging from sweet to extra hot.
  • 2 basil plants. 1 mound of zucchini
  • 9 broccoli plants.
  • Parsley (came back from last year).

In addition, I have some mystery squash that came up on their own. These are either pumpkins or cushaws resulting from my dumping last fall's yard decorations.

And, I also have several fruit trees and some grapes in my back yard. Sadly, these aren't low-carb.

The spinach, stevia, and broccoli are an experiment. I've never tried to grow any of these before. I'm especially curious about the stevia. I'm not sure what it's like fresh nor exactly what to do with it afterwards. I planted just one but am not sure if it will be enough. If anyone knows of any recipes for fresh stevia, please let me know!

The basil is a companion crop to the tomatoes. Once the basil begins flowering, it'll drive off most of the insects that eat tomatoes. This means I will most likely not have to use any pesticides! I' also putting down newspapers on the ground throughout the garden. This will hold in moisture and keep out the weeds. To make it look nicer, I'll put straw on top of the newspaper.

And, because I'm traveling so much this year, I bought a twenty dollar timer for the water hoses... Hopefully I can keep everything alive even though I'll be gone several two week stretches.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Best of April

What do you do when you run out of ideas for your blog? Well, you can always comment on everyone else's. So, I have decided to start compiling a monthly list of my favorite posts (or podcasts) from other people's weight loss blogs. My choices are based on my personal whims and interests. Hopefully some of you will find them equally interesting.

The best of April:

  1. Unforseen Consequences of a Low Carb Diet from Wifezilla's Way -- Social and marital issues related to dining with friends and family.
  2. Crazy Uncle Larry from Low Carb Confidential. Do you think of yourself as a crackpot? As crackpots go, we low carbers ... do stand out in a crowd, especially if we are at an event where food is being served - then it’s hard to hide.
  3. What Does Your Body Fat Percentage Mean? from Kudos for Low Carb. Knowing your body fat percentage is an important key to health.
  4. Stepping Into the Pasture, My First Encounter with Graze Anatomy from Low Carb Confidential. Apparently grass fed livestock has more nutrients than grain fed. I'd always grown up hearing how much better grain fed was. Once again, what we "know" is turned upside down.
  5. Cheat Day #2 from Kudos for Low Carb. Carol discusses her attempt at the "Cheat to Lose Diet". I really need to read this book. It reminds me a bit of the carb cycling experiments that my wife and I did last summer.
  6. Week#44: Down by another -2 lbs. for a total of -100 lbs. from Brian Cormier's LowcarbDude.com (that's 45 kilograms to you non-Americans). Does low carb work? Enough said! Congratulations dude.
  7. What Should We Change? from Hold the Toast Press. Dana discusses how critics often call low-carb a "fad diet".
  8. The Drinking Man's Diet from Low Carb Confidential. Discussion about a low carb diet book that pre-dates Atkins.
  9. Stop this Crazy Merry-Go-Round or Hold My Hair Back from The Lighter Side of Low-Carb. This is a huge hodge-podge post. The best parts begin at the title "I am saying Goodbye to Atkins". Cleochatra describes Dr. Thompson's Low Glycemic Plan. She peaked my interest... So, I went right out and bought Dr. Thompson's book. Now, she recants in another post and goes back to Atkins! But really, doesn't low-carb imply a low glycemic load anyway?
  10. Drs. Mike and Mary Dan Eades Podcast Interview Part 1 (Episode 133) from The Livin La Vida Low-Carb Show. Topics include the Drs. Eades new book, middle age weight loss, fat vs. protein, and resistance training.