Sunday, November 29, 2009

Low Carb Fruit

Fruit is nature's way of providing a healthy, sweet treat. If you must indulge in sugar, then eat a piece of fruit. If you are diabetic, then you need to use caution with fruit. Avoid fruit in the mornings, and never, ever eat it alone. Fruit can spike blood sugar. In fact, you should monitor your blood sugar to determine which fruits your body can handle, and how much.

Dieters beware: fruit turns into sugar when it enters your body. Too much fruit can sabatoge your weight loss efforts (especially if you are insulin resistant). I measure my fruit carefully, and eat no more than 2 servings a day (with lunch and dinner). I also count it within my daily carb limit. I've made a list of fruits, measurements, and their carb content:

1/2 of a small grapefruit: 3.5
1/2 of a small orange 4
1/2 c. blackberries 4
10 small strawberries 5
1 small wedge of cantelope 5
1/2 c. of watermelon 5
1/2 of an extra small apple 6
1 - 1/2 inch slice of pineapple 6
1/2 of a small peach 5

I share my fruit with my husband and children to keep it from going to waste (1/2 an apple). If I notice a spike in my blood sugar or the scale, I cut back on fruit and monitor it carefully. I am not of frame of mind that you can't have fruit on a low carb diet, afterall, fruit is directly from nature, but if you think about it, fruit should not be available to us year round. Due to advances in agriculture we can eat strawberries all year long, but in nature, strawberries have a season. The same can be said about all fruits. An all fruit smoothie is loaded with carbs and calories. Eat your fruit, but eat it sparingly, like a special treat.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dinner Menu for November 15 - 20, 2009

Each week I take the time to plan out my dinner menu. This helps me to stay on budget and to think about my week in general. We eat leftovers for lunch.

Sunday - Bacon cheese burgers w/o the bun, grape tomato/cucumber/celery salad (combine a tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil w/a tbsp of Italian seasoning)

Monday - Crockpot BBQ Chicken Breast (KC Masterpiece Low Calorie BBQ sauce is also low in carbs. Add chunks of onion and cook on low.), Low Carb Cole Slaw (bag of coleslaw salad, Hidden Valley Coleslaw dressing, walnuts, 1 small chopped apple)

Tuesday - Fajitas (use low carb tortillias, meat, pice de gallo, and cheese), guacamole salad

Wednesday - Creamy Chicken in the Crockpot (1 pkg. cream of cheese, 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, mushrooms if desired, salt and pepper), green beans, tomato wedges

Thursday - Parmesan Pork Tenderloin (mix a pkg. of fresh parmesan cheese w/cumin and black pepper to taste - press mixture on pork tenderloin before baking), grilled vegys

Friday - Cajun butter shrimp (HEB has a great cajun butter), steamed broccoli/carrot (just a few shreds)/bell pepper (dashed with parmesan cheese)

Low Carb for Life

What does it mean to eat low carb?

There are different eating plans followed by low carb dieters. The most popular and well known plan is Atkins. Unfortunately, Atkins out of the medical box thinking got a bad rap, and a reputation for downing bacon and butter. There is certainly nothing wrong with eating bacon and butter, but eating in moderation on any diet is key to weight loss management. And besides, you can eat vegetables on Atkins. That's right - vegetables.

You can try other low carb plans as well. Just to start there is Protein Power, The Zone Diet, Metabolism Miracle, Stillmans, and others. In a nutshell though - low carbing means eating meat, fish, healthy fats (which includes butter), low glycemic index vegetables, and some low glycemic index fruits. That pretty much covers it. Eat what God put on this Earth to eat, and avoid what man has altered, processed, or chemically created. Eat real food - whole food.

Why eat low carb?

In my case, I began eating low carb when my blood sugar jumped up to 464. One day I was an in-denial prediabetic, and the next day I was a full blown diabetic. If you visit the American Diabetes Association website, you will discover they recommend 45-65 carbs per meal. I never bought that idea, so I ate about 20-25 carbs per meal. So did my diabetic, on insulin husband. His numbers jumped all over the place, going high to low on a daily basis. Mine just jumped. And then I couldn't see. I mean really, I couldn't see. I had to wear a pair of reading glasses on top of my regular glasses until I could get my blood sugar under control, and get to an eye doctor for a new prescription. Wearing two pairs of glasses not only made me look foolish, but not being able to see was a major wake up call. Immediately I cut to 20 carbs or less a day (sometimes only 10). It took about two weeks of low carbing (plus Metformin medication) in order to get my blood sugar under control.

Two months later - I can see again. My blood sugar is under control. My husband cut his insulin back 5 times. I am sleeping better. I've lost weight. I have more energy in the afternoon. I have found my new way of eating for life.

What does a low carb menu look like?

Breakfast - Scrambled eggs w/sausage or bacon, 4 strawberries, coffee
Lunch - Grilled chicken salad
Dinner - Steak w/grilled vegetables, salad
Dessert - Sugar free Jello w/a dollop of real whipped cream
Snack - Handfull of walnuts and blackberries
Workout Protein - Jay Robb Protein Shake or a Power Crunch Protein Bar

What about my heart?

This interesting presentation (it's not dry and boring - really) by a Stanford researcher debunks a lot of the myths about low carb dieting, and he didn't even do it on purpose! The results of his research speak for itself.