Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dinner Menu for January 31 to February 5, 2010

I learned a little lesson last week. I made my dinner menu, but didn't get around to shopping. I sent hubby out for half of the list. My week did not go as planned. We ended up having sausage one night and chicken breaded with french fried onions (very good by the way).


We are going to bake some catfish. Crush up a bag of pork rinds. Add 1 -1/2 cups of almond flour & 3 tsp. of Old Bay Seasoning. Mix it together. Dip the catfish in egg whites and then into the crumb mixture. Bake @ 500 for 12-15 minutes or until catfish flakes easily. Serve with low carb cole slaw and cut green beans. (Cole slaw - I use a bag of cole slaw mix with Hidden Valley Cole Slaw Dressing. The dressing is 2.5 grams of carbs per tbsp., so use sparingly. I like adding a little bit of diced apple and walnuts.)


Italian Chicken Legs. This is one of the recipes I intended to cook last week, but never picked up the drumsticks. I have them now, so this is on the menu for Monday. I'll serve it with a bag of mixed steamed vegys.


I was looking through my "back in the day" recipes to see if there were any favorites that I could modify to low carb when I ran across my Pumpkin Soup recipe. Simmer for 20 minutes: 3 cups of chicken broth, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 cups of 100% pure pumpkin, 1/2 tsp fresh parsley, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/4 tsp fresh thyme, 1/2 clove garlic (minced), and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Puree 1 cup at a time in a blender or food processor. Return to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream. Garnish with fresh parsley. I'm thinking about making some sausage to go along with this soup.


BBQ Pot Roast. Place your roast into the crock pot. Combine 1 cup of low carb ketchup (I use Heinz reduced sugar), 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp. brown Splenda or Sugar Twin, 1/2 cup of water. Pour the mix over the roast. Cook on low for 10-12 hours. Serve with mixed steamed vegys.


Garlic Butter Chicken. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in the microwave. Mix in 1 tbsp of garlic salt & 1/4 tsp. of pepper. Dip chicken breasts into the mixture and lay in a pan sprayed with Pam. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with the vegys of your choice.


Texas Style Ground Beef. Brown a pound of ground beef with diced onion and bell pepper. Add 2 cans of Rotel Tomatoes & Chilis. Season with 1 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp. Greek Seasoning, salt & pepper. If you can handle "extra" carbs, add Dreamfields penne pasta.

Snoot Stew

During my grocery shopping trip last week I found a this can of Glory Foods Sensibly Seasoned Tomatoes & Okra. Today I had an idea for lunch. We browned a pound of ground beef, added the Tomatoes & Okra fro Glory Foods and let it simmer. We seasonsed it with salt, pepper, and Tony Chachere's Original Creaole Seasoning (to taste). Dear hubby added a little tabasco sauce to his and named it "Snoot Stew" (it's a little family joke). This quick meal was delish! It is 9 carbs per serving (we each ate half), so if you are eating less than 20 carbs a day, you will need to eat a VLC breakfast and dinner.

When the Label Says "Sugar Free"

I have a confession to make.

I LOVE chocolate.

I've been on a quest to find a chocolate treat in which I can indulge. It's easier said than done. I've checked the back of dozens of labels. Most of the chocolate treats on the store shelves have as much or more carbs than I eat in a day.

As a diabetic, I can't afford to make mistakes with my carbs. I don't want my blood sugar to creep up or jump up. It's all about control. As someone trying to lose weight, the last thing I want to do is blow it with a carby indulgence.

As a consumer, it really ticks me off that I can pick up a bag of "sugar free" chocolate candy only to discover that it's not really sugar free. At my local grocery store there is a display of sugar free candy. On the front of every bag as big as can be is the label "sugar free". It looks like a low carbers dream...

Until you turn over the package and read the back label. One piece is often 20 carbs. How can that be? Sugar alcohols. They subtract the sugar alcohols the same way we subtract fiber to get net carbs. If you are a low carber or diabetic, despite what some folks say (the people selling the candy), sugar alcohols will mess with your weight loss efforts and blood sugar. I know. I've tried it. Not only did it cause a stall in my weight loss, but it sent my blood sugars through the roof.

I can't help but think of all of the diabetics out there who take the "sugar free" label at face value. Personally, I think this deceitful labeling practice should be illegal. Granted, people should read the nutritional labels, but not everyone does. In fact, not everyone even knows that it's the carbs they should count. How can they when the ADA recommends 60 or more carbs PER MEAL to diabetics? If I ate like that I would be dead, or at the very least in a diabetic coma close to dead.

Don't trust the marketing labels on the front of packages. Read the nutritional labels. You can subtract fiber from carbs to get a net carb number, but do not subtract sugar alcohols. Believe it or not, even Atkins products subtracts the sugar alcohols. It's all about marketing and making the almighty dollar. Don't put your health or your life in the hands of marketing professionals whose job is to convince you that their product is healthy, when in fact, it is not.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dinner Menu for January 24 - January 29, 2010

This week I'm going to try a few new ideas, and some old favorites. Are you ready for dinner?


Salmon in a Crock Pot. I always buy wild Alaska salmon, and ask the seafood department to remove the skin. Place 1-1/2 lb. salmon fillet(s) in a crock pot. Add 1/4 cup dry white wine, 2 tbsp. melted butter, 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, & 1 tsp light soy sauce. Cook on low for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Keep an eye on it after the first hour so you don't overcook it. Serve with a salad & steamed vegys.


Roast Beef in a Crock Pot. Place your roast in the crock pot on top of foil balls. Mix together 1 envelope of each and pour over the roast: Good Seasons Italian dressing mix, Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix, & McCormicks brown gravy mix. Cook on low 8-10 hours (no water needed). Serve with steamed mixed vegetables.


Tex-Mex Chicken. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish sprayed with Pam. Season with Greek Seasoning. Top with a mix of diced bell pepper & diced onion. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven and top with cheese (I buy the package of Mexican cheeses from Kraft). Place the chicken back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Back in the day I served this with Ranch Style Beans and Rice-a-Roni, but not anymore. If you can handle beans, you might serve it with Pinto beans. I will have a salad.


Bunless Bacon Cheeseburgers. Seriously I won't be be home. This is the menu for the boys. It's dance class night, so I will grab something low carb at an area restaurant, and pick up DD something on the way home.


Low Carb Meatloaf. This meatloaf was a hit. It turned out so good, I'm going to have it again! I think I might try a version of cauliflower mashed potatoes (mock, of course). This time I will buy a bag of frozen cauliflower, allow it to defrost, cook it in the microwave, and mash it up before adding salt, pepper, butter, heavy cream, sour cream, cheese, & bacon bits. I'm going to go light on the cheese.


Italian Chicken Legs. I'm really making use of the crock pot this week. Place 8 chicken legs in a crock pot. Add 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 tbsp. brown Sugar Twin or Splenda, 1 - 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, & 1/2 cup of diced onion. Cook on low 7-8 hours. I'll serve this with Southern Green Beans and steamed yellow squash.

I'm searching for simple vegetable recipes. Please leave a recipe in the comments section. I desperately need some vegetable variety!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Low Carb Recipe - Southern Green Beans

I eat a lot of green beans, considering how low they are in carbs. I was desparate to kick them up a notch, so I came up with a Southern twist that's quick, easy and yummy!

2 cans of cut green beans

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 bag of real bacon bits

2 - 3 tbsp. almond slices

Combine the ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

Low Carb Recipe - Blueberry Muffins

I'm rather tickled. I played around in the kitchen and came up with this recipe for blueberry muffins. They turned out great, and they are only 2 carbs each!


4 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp. granulated Splenda
2 tbsp. whipping cream
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup fresh blueberries

Whisk the eggs, butter, and whipping cream. Sift in the almond flour and Splenda. Fold in the blueberries. Spray a six cup muffin pan with Pam. Pour the batter into the cups. (I found it simpler to pour the batter into a large measuring cup and then pour it into the muffin pan cups. The spout helped to pour the mix neatly.) Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Start watching the muffins at 15 minutes and adjust as needed. Bake the muffins until the are browned, but not burned.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dinner Menu for Sunday, January 17 to Friday, January 22

What's for dinner? Beef, chicken, pork, and fish!


Steak night! Fire up the grill. Add green beans with slivered almonds for your side dish. If you haven't tried the cauliflower twice baked mocked potatoes you are missing out. It sounds weird, but tastes great. I will caution you - it takes about an hour to grate the cauliflower, but it is so worth it.


Pan fry salmon with HEB's Cajun butter. Yum! Excellent with steamed broccoli.


Put a rump roast in the crockpot with chunks of onion, carrot (a serving is 5 carbs), and celery. Season with two packages of McCormick's Beef Stew Seasoning and about 2 cups of water. Set to low. and cook for about 10 hours.


It's bacon cheeseburger night (without the bun). Serve with slices of cucumbers and tomatoes, or a salad.


Chicken and Vegetables. This is my own recipe. I actually made it up from scratch. It's hubby's favorite.

Ingredients: chicken breasts, Greek seasoning, diced tomato, slices of zucchini, slices of yellow squash, cheese

Instructions: Set your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with Pam. Place chicken breasts in the pan (however many you want). Sprinkle with Greek seasoning. Top with plenty of diced tomatoes, zucchini, and squash. Liberally sprinkle on Greek seasoning between layers of vegetables. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with cheese and place back in oven for another five minutes.


I'm going to try a new recipe this week if I can find Hansen's Diet Black Cherry Soda. The recipe is for Cherry Glazed Pork Chops. I'll throw a bag of steamable vegys in the microwave (it is Friday night).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dinner Menu for January 10 to January 15, 2010

I'm keeping this week's dinner menu as simple as possible with a couple of repeats from last week. The cheeseburger pie was a hit. It's easy and quick to make. I'm going to double the recipe and cook it in a larger baking pan. We take our dinner leftovers to lunch the next day.

Low Carb Meatloaf, cheddar biscuits, green beans

Baked tilapia, green beans w/slivered almonds

Cheeseburger pie (doubling the recipe)

Roast in crockpot (I use two packages of McCormick's seasoning. Add large chunks of onions, carrots, & celery.)

Italian chicken, steamed broccoli

Southwestern Chili Con Carne, cheddar biscuits

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Protein Drink Recipes

My favorite protein powder is Jay Robb's Whey Protein Vanilla Flavor Powder. It's one of the best engineered protein powders with healthy whey isolates, no after taste, and a yummy flavor. And it's only 1 carb! I make protein drinks for breakfast when I in a hurry, and for in between meals when I get hungry. I've been experimenting lately. Here are some of my favorite protein drink recipes:

Cherry Blast

1 scoop of Jay Robb's Whey Protein Vanilla Flavor Powder
8 oz. Big K Diet Drop Red Cherry Blast Soda
4 tbsp. of whipping cream
2-3 ice cubes

Root Beer Float

1 scoop of Jay Robb's Whey Protein Vanilla Flavor Powder
8 oz. Diet Root Beer
4 tbsp. of whipping cream
2-3 ice cubes

Orange Creamsicle

1 scoop of Jay Robb's Whey Protein Vanilla Flavor Powder
8 oz. Diet Sunkist Orange Soda
4 tbsp. of whipping cream
2-3 ice cubes

Big Red Float

1 scoop of Jay Robb's Whey Protein Vanilla Flavor Powder
8 oz. Diet Big Red
4 tbsp. of whipping cream
2-3 ice cubes

Add your low carb protein shake in the comments section. I'm trying to find a diet strawberry and diet grape soda. If you know of another great diet soda for our low carb protein shakes, please let readers know by leaving a comment.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Low Carb Winner!

I've tried several diets over the past 16 years. Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, Quick Weight Loss Centers, Low Fat / High Carb, Low Calorie, and the list goes on...

Several years ago I tried Atkins. I didn't read the book. I didn't understand the diet, but I ate a lot of bacon! I think I lost 10 lbs or so before burning out and moving on to the next craze. Every diet I've ever tried plateaued out at 10 - 20 lbs. I could never, ever lose more than 20 lbs. - until now.

What happened?

I went low carb. Seriously. Less than 20 carbs a day.

Why did I do it?

My blood sugar went bonkers. I was in a bookstore one day when I looked around and realized that the world was fuzzy. As a prediabetic, I had a blood sugar monitor at home. I check it - 464. Wow! Talk about a wake up call. I went to the doctor. My A1C was 12.4. Yikes!

So I went low carb.

I started to lose weight. My blood sugar began to fall. I could see again.

But there is more...

When I went to the doctor he also checked my cholesterol.

Choloesterol: 250 (should be less than 200)
Triglycerides: 486 (should be less than 100)
HDL: 47 (should be higher, definitely higher)
LDL: They couldn't calculate it due to my high triglycerides.

Between my blood sugar and my cholesterol - my doctor was not a happy camper.

Two months later:

A1C: 6.8

Cholesterol: 120
Triglycerides: 100
HDL: 57
LDL: 43

Weight loss?


I'm a low carb winner!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lose 14 pounds by February 14th - Valentine's Day

Join Low Carb Friends 14 by 2/14 weight loss challenge. This averages out to about 2 pounds a week for healthy, reasonable goal. We post our weight each Friday, and work to motivate and encourage each other.

A few tips for the challenge:

1. Log in daily and post. This helps to keep you on track and motivated.

2. Try a VLC (very low carb) plan. I'm eating 20 below carbs a day (healthy carbs from vegetables), plenty of protein and fat, and drinking water.

3. Get up and move. Take a walk, hit the gym, dance around your living room. Move, move, move.

4. Try to avoid snacking. If you eat enough protein and fat, you shouldn't feel hungry. If you do feel hungry, make a few eggs (hard boiled, scrambled, deviled). Eggs are great for cutting hunger.

5. Plan your meals ahead, especially for days when you are in a hurry and on the go. Thinking ahead will help you to avoid falling off the wagon.

6. Post a positive saying and your goal on your bathroom mirror.

7. Throw your stinkin' thinkin' in the garbage can. Negative garbage in = negative garbage out. Keep your thoughts, words, and company positive.

8. Tell yourself that sugar is crack. It's bad for you. It makes you sick and fat.

9. Instead of indulging in a chocolate bar when you feel stressed, indulge in a chair massage.

10. Remember you are on a lifelong journey, not a diet. This is a way of life. The benefits outweigh the struggles. Hang in there!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dinner Menu for January 2 - 8, 2010


Steak, Cauliflower Twice Baked Potato, Green Beans


Apple Marinated Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese


Hamburger Patties w/Cheese, Tomato / Cucumber Salad (cherry tomatoes cut in half, diced cucumber, diced celery, 1 tbsp. olive oil mixed with Italian Seasoning)


Cheeseburger Pie, Steamed Vegetables


Chuck Roast (crockpot on low with 1 can of Rotel tomatoes), Steamed Vegetables


Meatloaf, Green Beans, Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes


Chili Carne Con, Cheddar Biscuit

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Day, New Start!

Today is January 1st, 2010. Today I resolve to begin again, to put the past behind me, to learn from my mistakes, to go forward with my goal to live a healthy life. Join me on my low carb lifetime journey.

Today I'm starting Atkins induction. I will continue through January 15th. On induction you can eat beef, eggs, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, and low gylcemic vegetables. In other words - meat and vegetables. You can also have butter, cream, and spices. As I sit here drinking my morning coffee (yes, you can have coffee), I am dreaming of the bacon and eggs my dear hubby is going to make for me (yes, I'm spoiled). After breakfast, I am going to plan my menu for the week, make a grocery list, and go to the grocery store.

I fell off the water wagon a few weeks ago and bumped my head on a bottle of diet soda. My weight loss has slowed down ever since, so today I'm giving up soda and starting back on water. Water is nature's diet drink.

It's all about beginning again. The New Year is a great excuse to start over, reevaluate life goals, and live a healthy life. What are your New Year's resolutions for getting healthy?