Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Year's Perspective on Low Carb

The holidays provided a challenge: stay on a low carb diet and jolly at the same time. Tis' the season. Now that the toughest days are over, it is time to gear up for a low carb New Year. Ring in 2010 with a plan to stay on plan. Begin on January
1st, 2010 and continue throughout the year. The results on January 1st of 2011 will be worth the effort.

1. Set your carb limit based on your body, your health, and your beliefs. In the book, Protein Power, Dr. Eades shows you how to calculate the carbs you need for your body to run efficiently. My personal carb limit is 20 a day. If I start to creep over 20, my blood sugar begins to creep up. Some people can handle a little more, and some need less.

2. Make your carbs healthy carbs. Healthy isn't on the back of a cardboard box or plastic wrapper. Healthy is in the vegetable section of your grocer (or better yet, the farmer's market). Healthy comes from the Earth. It isn't altered with chemicals. It isn't man made. Healthy carbs come in the form of low glycemic vegetables and fruit.

3. Create a weekly menu. If you take the time to sit down and plan, chances are you will follow through with your plan. Think through your week. Do you need to take Chris to scouts or ball practice? Does Mindy have ballet? Does hubby have to work late this week? These are the kinds of things you should anticipate while planning. And don't forget to plan for breakfast and lunch. Always have a backup, emergency plan for when things go awry (and they will). Planning a menu will also save you money. When you go grocery shopping you will have a list (and surely you will eat before you go), and stick to your list. Peruse your grocery store fliers (you can do that online these days) to see who has sales on meat. This type of planning is effective cost cutting in a tough economy. It will also save your hips from that emergency candy bar from the vending machine. After you've created several weeks worth of menus, you can cycle through them. Time up front will save you time in the long run.

4. It's time to start back on the exercise plan as well. Fitness centers run lots of specials this time of year, giving you the opportunity to shop around. If you can't afford a gym, pick up an exercise dvd or try Jorge Cruise's 8 Minutes in the Morning (avoid his carby diet plan).

5. Cut the diet sodas and add back water. If you were like me, you probably hit the caffeine harder during the stressful holidays. It's time to dump the diet drinks and pour a glass of ice cold water. It's the Earth's greatest diet drink and it's free (well, sort of).

If you need a little motivation, check out the following books:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Staying on Your Low Carb Plan Over the Holidays

Let's face it - all of those sweets are tempting! Pies, cakes, cookies, candy, and the list goes on. How do we stay on our low carb plan when faced with parties and treats and family get togethers? Plan, plan, plan!

1. Plan your meals. This is the key. Every time I don't get around to planning, we tend to slip up at my house (hubby and I are both diabetic). On Sunday I still down and create a menu for the week. Next I create a grocery list from my plan, and then I eat a healthy, low carb meal. That's right - I eat before I go grocery shopping. This cuts down on impulse buys and helps me to pass up the ladies giving out free samples. Stick to your shopping list. If you must impulsively buy something - make it non food related, perhaps a stocking stuffer.

2. Give it away. I teach school, so of course, I received about five sweets the other morning. Bless their hearts, if only I could eat the scrumptious treats they brought me. I shared the candy with the kids, made little bags for my own kids plus my nieces, and I've put aside some other treats to share with my family on Christmas day. Let the aunts and uncles eat it up! Or wrap it up and take it to a local nursing home. If someone gives you a sweet treat, say thank you, and then pass it along to someone who can eat it (or will eat it regardless). You are taking care of you. Don't blow it over a few pieces of chocolate or banana nut bread.

3. Plan your low carb treats. Counter the sweets by making a few of your own -low carb style. You can find tons of recipes at Low Carb Friends. Search their recipe section for fabulous low carb treats like pumpkin bake and chocolate bark. Save your sanity and your body!

4. Exercise. Hit the gym - now! Everyone is shopping this week. The rest of the world is waiting until after New Years, after they make that resolution. Resolve to beat the crowds. You simply can't spoil a great workout with a piece of pecan pie. It just wouldn't do.

5. Drink your water and take your vitamins. This isn't the time to slip up on the small things. Keep the water glass filled and stay on schedule with your vitamins. You need energy during the busy holiday season. Remember - carbs will shut you down. They will make you feel groggy and tired. Oh sure, you might get a ten minute burst of fake energy, but afterwards, you will need a long winter's nap. You just can't go to sleep and miss Santa! (Isn't he bringing you a Wii Fit Plus Biggest Loser Fitness Bundle (Nintendo Wii) for Christmas?)

6. Get a massage. The holiday season tends to bring stress. All of those crazy relatives, hours bent over Christmas gifts wrapping them up, shopping at the mall... You deserve a massage. You need a massage. Even a 20 minute chair massage can give you new life. Give yourself the gift of relaxation. If you can keep yourself from tensing up, that Godiva chocolate might not look so tempting. You can pass it by and say, "No thank you."

7. Remember the reason. And don't forget the true reason for the season. It's not about gift giving and eating and Santa, it's about the birth of our Saviour. Keep things in perspective and allow Him to give you the strength you need to stay on plan. Keep this Bible verse in your pocket: "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." Philippinas 4:13.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Low Carb Dinner Menu for December 6 - 11, 2009

It's dinner time! I'm going very low carb (VLC) in order to break a stall. Here is the menu:

Sunday - grilled pork chops, steamed sugar snap beans

Monday - talapia, salad

Tuesday - grilled chicken, green beans cooked with bacon

Wednesday - hamburger patties w/cheese and bacon, tomato slices and cucumbers

Thursday - steak, steamed broccoli

Friday - fajitas (Mission Carb Control Wheat tortillias are 4 carbs each. I found them at Kroger.), guacamole salad