Facelift Friday Fun

I’ve done lots of before and after photos, but none really focused on how my face changed since going low carb. Wow! I never realized by head was that fat chunky.

facelift friday oct 2What the photo doesn’t capture? How my skin improved after going low carb. No more breakouts or dry, flaky skin. That added bonus: I’m constantly told by family, friends and my doctor that I look much younger. Granted I take what the hubby and friends say with a grain of salt, but not my doctor!


Book Review: The Ketogenic Cookbook

My new cookbook. The recipes taste amazing. This to this book, I'm even more inspired to get into my kitchen and start experimenting!

My new cookbook. The recipes taste amazing. This to this book, I’m even more inspired to get into my kitchen and start experimenting!

Since going ketogenic, I’ve struggled with getting more healthy fat into my diet. Yes, I love butter. But I’d like to think I’m a little more creative in the kitchen than just adding a tablespoon of butter on top of my steak. That’s why The Ketogenic Cookbook is a godsend!

The recipes are high in fat, easily allowing me to hit my daily goal of consuming 75-80% of my calories in healthy fat. The recipes look amazingly delicious. And like my Julia Child’s cookbook, it inspires me to get into the kitchen and play with ingredients.

I’m working my way through the book, busily making lots of sauces and dressings in the book’s “Condiments, Dressings, Broth and Other Basics” section. The tomato sauce and yellow marinara sauce recipe were more than worth the price. This week I’m testing out the “compound butter” recipe using beef tallow and duck fat! Read More


What’s Really Important When Eating Out

Food use to be the most important thing when I went out with family and friends. Since I stopped dieting and focused on improving me, I've gained a new perspective on my relationship with food. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.

Food use to be the most important thing when I went out with family and friends. Since I stopped dieting and focused on improving me, I’ve gained a new perspective on my relationship with food. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.

I’m finally back home after 3 weeks in Texas helping Dr. Mom pack up her home and move to Virginia. During my time in Texas I didn’t track my food, exercise, or weigh myself. I pretty much ate when hungry and not to excess.

Except for the 3 meals where I ate Tex-Mex (hey, I was in Texas), I pretty much stuck to my regular meals and snacks.

If I find fault in my choices, it was probably in the wine department. After a hard day of wrapping artwork, lifting heavy objects, going though reams of old papers, and skimming through family albums I haven’t seen in years, Mom and I treated ourselves to a glass (or 2) of vino.

For 3 weeks, the wine did flow! Read More


Recipes: Home-Made Kit Kats & Chocolate-Avocado Pudding

Packing up a 3-bedroom home is a lot of work, so cooking any thing fun or new is kept to a minimum for now.  But these two recipes came to my inbox, and I couldn’t resist sharing. They look amazingly awesome and healthy. When I’m back home I’ll give these a try, albeit tweaked slightly to reduce the carb/sugar count.

Hazelnut & Coconut Kit Kat Bar
The first recipe — Hazelnut & Coconut Kit Kat Bar — comes from the folks at Thrive Market, a cool online store that offers natural and organic products at wholesale prices. I’ve started shopping there and have picked up some good deals on coconut oil, nut butters, and Red Boat Fish Sauce.

The home-made Kit Kat sounds tasty. While I was never a big candy bar eater, Kit Kats tied with peanut butter cups as my favorite. In fact, those are the two types of candy bars I give out on Halloween each year. Since the idea of hazelnut and coconut flavors sounds amazing to me, I think I’ll make these when we have guests over. Something tells me I don’t want many leftovers around.

Single Serving Chocolate-Avocado Pudding
From the GreenLiteBites recipe blog of weight loss blogger Roni Noone, the Chocolate-Avocado Pudding is high on my “To Make” list. In fact, avocados are so cheap here in Texas I may whip this up before heading home to Virginia. I’ll just need to find some sugar-free maple syrup or perhaps use a maple extract instead.  We’ll see.

If you try either of these let me know in the comments section, and I’ll post a photo of you enjoying it!


10 Reasons I’ve Lost 140 Pounds And Kept It Off

Conventional dieting wisdom - eat less, exercise more - is wrong. For me, cutting sugar, carbs and starches resulted in more than 140 lbs. gone.

Conventional dieting wisdom – eat less, exercise more – is wrong. For me, cutting sugar, carbs and starches resulted in more than 140 lbs. gone. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.

Today’s dieting advice – eat less, exercise more – doesn’t work. A new study shows that few overweight people lose 5% of their body weight. And those who are successful put the weight back on within 5 years. Money quote from the study:

“Current strategies that focus on cutting calories and boosting physical activity aren’t working for most patients to achieve weight loss and maintain that.”

I’d tried for more than 25 years to lose weight. I tried all the different programs, most of which are the same: some form of calorie reduction and exercise. While I initially lost weight, I always felt hungry. I just couldn’t sustain those diets, and eventually I gained even more weight back.

So what’s so different this time?

1. My health became THE priority (I had to become a priority in my own life).
2. I read Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes (life-changing).
3. I said good-bye to processed, high carb foods (and sugar) and embraced low carb, high fat real foods.
4. Took the time to build good habits, like:

5. Eat only when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full (not stuffed).
6. Gave up perfection for patience.
7. Get 8 hours of sleep.
8. Avoid fruit, except for berries (and only as a treat).
9. A sense of urgency (my health was at serious risk!).
10. I’m not depriving myself. I’m making smarter, tastier choices!


Eggplant Pizza Snack

Clockwise from top left: A sweating eggplant piece, fresh tomato sauce, pizza toppings assembled, and the finished product -- Eggplant pizza!

Clockwise from top left: A sweating eggplant piece, fresh tomato sauce, pizza toppings assembled, and the finished product — eggplant pizza!

As you know, I’m all about Julia Child recipes now and here’s an easy, fun one that gets pizza back into my life — Eggplant Pizza. Going low carb means I gave up pizza crust. Well this recipe uses eggplant in place of the carb-loaded bread.

Now we’ve never been huge fans of eggplant. It always tasted a little off to me and my husband. Turns out, you need to use salt to sweat the eggplant before cooking it up. Letting it sit in salt takes out the excess moisture and removes that off-putting taste.

The fun thing about this recipe is that you can pretty much add any seasonings or toppings you’d like. You’re making pizza after all. Read More


Nuts!

I spent part of the morning weighing nuts before bagging them into single portions. Nuts are a great, healthy snack but be careful about overdoing it!

I spent part of the morning weighing nuts before bagging them into single portions. Nuts are a great, healthy snack but be careful about overdoing it!

I’m busy coming up with quick, easy snacks for the hubby and me. This morning I spent some quality time weighing and bagging some of my favorite nuts – macadamia, walnuts and almonds.

Nuts are a great, healthy snack loaded with healthy fats and nutrients like Vitamins A, E and magnesium.

However it’s easy (too easy!) to devour large amounts without feeling full. Trust me, I’ve eaten jars of peanuts (not really a nut; it’s actually a legume!) in the past.

Lesson learned. Now I bag the nuts into single serving sizes – 1 ounce each.

I use to keep the nuts in a jar on the counter, easy access for a grab-n’-go snack (way too easy!). Now that little jar sits in my pantry. Yes, I still remember where the nuts are, but I’m more mindful before reaching for them. Read More


Weekly Weigh-In: Fat Loss Continues; Down 1.4 Lbs.

I ended February on a high note, losing 1.4 pounds. For the first time this year I feel like I'm mentally in the weight loss game.

I ended February on a high note, losing 1.4 pounds. For the first time this year I feel like I’m mentally in the weight loss game.

I end February strong. Not only did I lose 1.4 lbs. this week, but my intermittent fast is going great. As of January I’m down 5.8 lbs. which brings my total weight loss to 133 pounds. My weight loss may be off to a slower start than expected this year, but I finally feel as if I’m once again firing on all cylinders.

I’m tracking and measuring everything. My daily activity is high. I just need to remember to wear that blasted Fitbit to track my steps.

Each Saturday, I refrain from eating and drinking anything until after my Weight Watchers weigh-in and meeting. This week I worried a little, because water and coffee are the only things I can consume until noon, due to the semi-fast I’m now doing. Despite the lack of liquids, my stomach didn’t make a peep during the meeting. No hunger pains after, and no growling. Just a general feeling of awesomeness. Read More


2 Holidays Down, 2 To Go

If I want to secure my place in Onederland, I'll need to avoid all those little holiday treats at upcoming parties and celebrations. Image courtesy of joephotostudio and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

If I want to secure my place in Onederland, I’ll need to avoid all those little holiday treats at upcoming parties and celebrations. Image courtesy of joephotostudio and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

It’s December 2nd and I’ve successfully got through Halloween (no candy!) and Thanksgiving (no weight gain!).  As we head towards Christmas and New Year’s, I need a plan to navigate not just the holidays, but those little parties and get-togethers with friends and family.

My goal is to keep my momentum going and drop another 5 lbs. by January. A very tall order, I know. But I want to secure my lease in Onederland. I’m hanging on by a thread. I need to put some serious distance between me and 200 lbs.

Part of that is a plan for dealing with upcoming parties where the old me would consume lots of wine, scarf down copious amounts of finger foods, and delight in sampling all the sugary treats.

So What’s The Plan? Read More


Low Carb Pumpkin Pie For The Holidays

I tested a low carb pumpkin pie recipe last night. Tasty and awesome, it will make my Thanksgiving Day menu.

I tested a low carb pumpkin pie recipe last night. Tasty and awesome, it will make my Thanksgiving Day menu.

I love baking. Putting my hands in the dough, turning raw ingredients into something else. It’s pure joy. Unfortunately, when I went low carb, I thought my newfound hobby was lost. Key ingredients – flour, sugar – are not friendly to my waistline. Thankfully, there are more alternative ingredients, sites and cookbooks popping up that focus on low carb baking. Read More