Friday, January 30, 2009

Making my own soda pop

My wife and I recently bought a soda machine from Soda-Club. It came with a variety of flavored syrups. The diet pops are all flavored with Splenda (sucralose). Which is awesome, because I don't think that aspartame and other sweeteners are very healthy. The flavors that we've tried so far have no "diet" after taste. The cola is great but my favorite is the grapefruit seltzer. When I worked in Paris France, I used to drink non-diet Schwepps sparkling grapefruit. Until now, I've found nothing similar available in the United States. And, I am extremely happy to have finally found a diet equivalent that doesn't even taste like diet! I never knew that pop could taste so fresh. The cost of carbonation and their syrups runs about 18 cents per liter. Soon, my wife and I are going to start experimenting with making flavors from scratch (ginger ale, etc.). My two year old son told me this morning that I need to make his Mom some tea pop because he knows that she loves tea. I think we'll give it a shot and see what happens.

Soda Club USA

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What I'm doing now...

Just a quick FYI.... I've lost about 30 pounds and 4 inches around my waist since Thanksgiving (about 2 months). My "fat" clothes are once again too loose and I need to break out my box of skinny clothes again.

Here's what I'm doing: I'm not strictly following anyone else's program. I'm no longer looking at total carbs per day. Instead I'm just trying to keep each meal to less than 15 net carbs with snacks of under 15 net carbs no closer than one hour to a meal or another snack. Essentially I'm trying to avoid insulin spikes that cause the body to store fat. To my surprise, this has allowed me to stay in ketosis most of the time. I used to think that if I went over a total of 45 net carbs in a day that I'd quit losing weight. But now I'm finding that I can go higher as long as I spread it out.

As for vitamins, this time, I'm not taking lots of expensive vitamins. The only ones I am taking are potassium and chromium.

Also, I'm planning to take 2 days off of the diet per month. This allowed for me to partake in my brother's family's traditional Bulgarian Christmas Eve vegetarian dinner. I'm off again this weekend and enjoyed a smoothie made with frozen plums that I picked from my own back yard last summer. It seems that I crave fruits more than junk food. The re-feeds I think are good to replenish vitamins & muscle glycogen stores as well as to prevent my metabolism from slowing.

So far, this strategy has been working well.

Almond Macaroons - 1 net carb per cookie

This is an original. I simply modified my coconut macaroon cookie recipe.

Makes 30 cookies at about 1 net carbs each.

4 egg whites
1/4 t. cream of tartar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. amaretto
1/2 t. sweetzfree (or 2 Splenda Quick Packs)
2 c. almond meal

In mixing bowl beat on high all ingredients except the almond meal. A whisk attachment on your mixer will make this go much faster. Whisk on high until thick enough for peaks to form. Very gently fold in almond meal until just barely mixed. Drop spoonfulls onto cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

El Rey del Cabrito in Monterrey

Here's the pictures from the restaraunt "El Rey del Cabrito" (The goat king) in Monterrey Mexico. This place could easily be featured on Andrew Zimmerman's TV show, Bizarre Foods. The specialty is baby goats.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Low Carbing in Mexico (Days 2 & 3)

Last night, we had a wonderful low-carb meal at one of the most famous restaurants in Monterrey, El Rey del Cabrito (The Goat King). This restaurant's speciality is cabrito (baby goat). And yes, we ate baby goat. It was greasy and flavorful, like a cross between lamb and pork. There were essentially no side dishes, just a plate of peppers and a few garnishes of boiled broccoli and cauliflower... As an appetizer before the goat, we had "dried shredded meat" (apparently beef). This restaurant is a low-carber's dream. My camera batteries were dead but co-workers took pictures. The staff let us into the kitchen and my buddies took a wonderful picture of myself surrounded by baby goats on sticks roasting over open coals. I'll post the pictures once I get copies.

Breakfast at the hotel was eggs with warm spicy salsa and a small side of refried beans.

Lunch today, at the office was a large hamburger. I gave away the fries and stripped away the bun. There was plenty of meat, avocado, and cheese to keep me happy.

It is currently after 9:00 PM and we haven't left the office. Yes, I'm posting from work as my ability to attention in the meeting is beginning to wane. They ordered pizza. The only non-pizza items were salads. A no-no in Mexico. But, everyone assured me that Monterrey food and water is not as risky as other parts of Mexico and that eating their lettuce wasn't all that dangerous. So, I ordered a chicken Caesar salad. About half way through the salad, I found a rat turd. Argh!!! This sucks. I just hope I don't get sick. I didn't make a scene... I just quietly threw my salad in the trash and ate the cheese off of a few slices of pizza.

It's past 10:00 PM my home time. I'm ready to get the heck out of here but it looks like we may be here for a while...

I'll be going home tomorrow arriving on the last plane into Lexington, Kentucky. I'd love to see more of Monterrey but am getting rather tired of the conference room inside the plant.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Low Carbing in Mexico

I am in Monterrey, Mexico this week. I've not yet had time to see much of the city, but from what I've seen so far, it looks like a U.S. city. The hotels near the office are all U.S. chains. Just next door to my hotel is a Chili's and a 7-11 gas station. The company doesn't require armored cars here as they do in most of Mexico. The people are friendly and it feels much safer than Tijuana did a couple of months ago.

Even while traveling, I'm sticking with my low-carb plan. The folks here at the office were great and took my diet into consideration before ordering lunch for everybody. Today, for lunch we had steak, guacamole, pork rinds, and fondido (cheese w/ chorizo sausage). Tonight, they say that we are going out for an authentic dinner at some place that specializes in goats. I have to say that I've never eaten a goat. I wonder if it is going to taste like lamb?

Last night for dinner, I had steak, chicken, sausage, fondito, guacamole, hot peppers, and a side salad that was substituted for a potato. About half way through the meal, I remembered that I was in Mexico and shouldn't be drinking from a glass with ice cubes nor eating leafy veggies. I've always been taught that in Mexico you should only eat vegetables that need to be pealed. Hopefully I won't get sick. I caught Monazuma's Revenge about 10 years ago in Mexico City and it sucks to be spewing out of both ends simultaneously. The Mexicans I was eating with claim that it's not risky to eat and drink in Monterrey but I'm not sure if to believe them as they're not susceptible to the same bacteria as we gringos.

On another note, just before leaving, I made an experimental batch of cookies that turned out awesome! They're almond macaroons with less than one carb per cookie. I brought some with me to eat on the plane. I'll post the recipe soon after returning home... promise.