NATIONAL NUT DAY

tl-10-22-national-nut-daya-circle-of-nutsfriendsI think we can agree that some friends are a bit on the nutty side…  and they do come in all shapes and sizes.  I think we also agree that it’s perfectly okay!  😉

The nuts we want to focus on are the edible kind…  of course.  Nuts are low or no carbohydrates, so are very healthy for diabetics.  They are chock full of nutrients and healthy fats.  My favorite nuts are cashews, and I eat a few handfuls every day.  Our little nuthouse here in Wichita, The Nifty Nuthouse, has such delicious cashews, but at $9.00 a pound, I have to pace myself for sure.

Once in a while I get a craving for Chinese food, and my favorite recipe is for, you guessed it…  Cashew Chicken.  Here’s my simple recipe:

CASHEW CHICKEN (Makes 5 servings – 10 carbs each)

INGREDIENTS:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1/4 cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sesame seeds
3/4 cup cashew pieces
salt and pepper
INSTRUCTIONS:
Heat a large pan on medium heat and add the coconut oil.
Season your cubed chicken with a little salt and pepper…don’t over do it on the salt because the soy has enough salt in it.
Add the chicken to the pan and brown on both sides, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan, and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain some of the grease off.
In the same pan, add the sesame oil and saute the garlic clove and ginger for 1 minute.
Stir in the Teriyaki, Oyster, Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar and red pepper flakes.
Once the sauce has come to a boil, add the chicken and stir to combine. Cook about another 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the chicken to a serving bowl and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.
 *********************************************************************************
So today, give that nutty friend in your circle a phone call or send a note…  and celebrate the edible kind with this wonderful recipe.  🙂
Advertisements

SPINACH LOVERS MONTH

tl-october-is-spinach-lovers-monthpopeye-37117_1280Who remembers this fella???  Yep, it’s Popeye!!!  Remember what his super-food was???  Absolutely…  it was SPINACH!

Spinach is part of a healthy diet.  I’m finding new and different ways to use spinach, but my favorite recipe is creamed spinach.  I was tickled to find a copycat recipe for Boston Market’s creamed spinach.  It’s low-carb and delicious!

Low-Carb Creamed Spinach

Makes 8 servings

4g. carbs per serving

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. butter

1/2 c. chopped shallots

1 Tbs. minced garlic

1 1/2 c. half & half

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

8 oz. Havarti cheese

16 oz. fresh spinach

Instructions:

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic.  Cook until tender.  Pour half & half in and reduce to low heat.  Stir in salt, pepper, paprika and nutmeg.  Add in Havarti cheese and cook on low heat until it’s melted and combined throughout.  Once melted, add in the spinach and toss together until coated with cheese.

Serve warm.

This is a great side dish for steak or fish.  Some days I don’t want a great big meal and just fix this.  Spinach is packed with nutrients that keep us strong – just like Popeye!popeyeolive_bizarropanel-248x300spinach-dd-02enjoyspinach

Here are some other ways to enjoy spinach:

  • Spinach Smoothie.  It’s not as bad as it sounds.  There’s not much flavor to spinach so you can add in the nutrition boost without changing the taste.  Add a handful of spinach next time and see for yourself.  Making smoothies and juicing is not the best way to consume any fruit or vegetable for diabetics because when you make the food liquid, it increases the sugar content and decreases the amount of fiber you get.  Diabetics need less sugar and more fiber, so keep that in mind.
  • Spinach Wrap.  Place grilled chicken in a spinach leaf and dip it into ranch dressing.  It’s pretty good!
  • Omelets.  Add spinach, mushrooms, onion, and cheese to make a nutritious and delicious filling for omelets.  Sometimes I add some applewood smoked bacon…  it’s delish!
  • Spinach Salad.  Toss in some strawberries or mandarin oranges.  A few apple chunks would even work.
  • Stir-Fry Dishes.  Spinach, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and broccoli stir-fried in a little olive oil makes a good lunch or dinner.images-205Keep in mind that spinach is:
  • Low in calories
  • High in Vitamin A
  • High in magnesium
  • High in fiber
  • Good source of calcium
  • Good source of antioxidants
  • Helps with cancer prevention
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Is high in folate
  • Increases brain function
  • Is an anti-inflammatory
  • Promotes healthy vision
  • Increases circulation
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Helps fight infection
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Is high in flavonoids
  • Good source in vitamin E
  • Good source of beta carotene
  • Good source of zinc
  • Increases bone density

If you’re a diabetic with neuropathy like me, spinach can help your neuropathy because it increases circulation.  I eat a lot of spinach and have not gone beyond the needles and pins sensation in my feet.  Good nutrition really does matter.  🙂popeye-spinach-shirt

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)There’s a particular number I want to see on the scale when I visit my doctor on the 14th – and when I weighed last, I was 4 pounds away!  I’ll be honest, I’ve been living on salads and doing workouts 3 days a week – with extra reps.  I want this so much!

Here’s the deal…  while I’ve been towing the line, I do still on occasion sit and daydream about what I may do when I leave the doctor’s office.  I’ve thought of going to the Dollar Tree to get a candy bar.  I’ve thought of getting a bag of marshmallows.  I’ve considered so many possibilities, but as I said…  these are thoughts.  The bad news is…  thoughts become actions.  That’s when I sabotage my own efforts and get angry with myself.  😦

I know what I need to do.  I need to add to my artillery. I need to reinforce the hem of my determination with prayer and faith.  I also wrote a new poem.  I hope if you’re fighting a sugar addiction, it will encourage you to stay on track.toadallyI’ve read so many articles that talk about sugar addiction.  It’s more difficult to break free from sugar than to break free from drugs!  It’s true, sugar is the most addictive substance.  This sweet stuff not only wrecks blood glucose, but it’s the stuff that cancer cells feed on.  Sugar’s the stuff that really ruins arteries.  When they told us it was the fat in our diets – that was incorrect.  It’s the sugar that does the damage.  For so many reasons it is best to lower or stop consumption of sugar.

As for the new ammunition…  I have compiled a list that will help me stay focused when I’m shopping.  I plan to buy just the things on this list:

  • eggs
  • peanut butter with no hydrogenated oil
  • celery
  • nuts
  • carrot sticks
  • ranch dressing
  • blue cheese dressing
  • low-sodium deli meats
  • cream cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • cheddar cheese
  • Swiss cheese
  • pork rinds
  • sunflower seeds
  • low-sodium jerky
  • turkey pepperoni slices
  • mushrooms
  • turkey bacon
  • dill pickles
  • tuna
  • lettuce
  • cucumbers
  • 70% cocoa chocolate bar
  • beef
  • chicken
  • broccoli
  • onions
  • little smokies
  • Vienna sausages
  • bell peppers
  • Relish sweetened with Splenda
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower

My appointment is Friday, so I’ll have some idea whether I’m going to reach my goal or not because I weigh on Wednesdays.  I’ve sure been working on getting there.  If I make it, the nurses at the doctor’s office may see me do a victory dance!  If I don’t make it, I’ll know that I came so close to goal and determine that I’ll do better next time.13419107_1228329117211567_3612524694099834881_n-2

KETO ZONE www.fb.com/KetoZone

I’m determined to get this weight off!  It’s really as easy as having low-carb food to eat when I get hungry.  Being prepared by having a well-stocked pantry and fridge is so important if I want to succeed.  God’s gonna help me do this!  🙂

 

 

NATIONAL KALE DAY

tl-10-5-national-kale-dayKale is the perfect companion for bacon and cheese as part of a healthy low-carb salad.  Anytime a vegetable is cooked, it takes some of the nutrients out of it, but I prefer kale a little wilted so I fry it up with my bacon to make it taste better.images-46Kale chips are pretty good.  They do provide that crunch that chips used to.  Are there really health benefits to eating kale?  Does it really give you a boost of energy like people claim?  My research tells me the answer to both questions is YES.

Since a low-carb diet allows many foods that have low or no fiber content, kale helps with a need for fiber, much like other types of lettuce and spinach.  It also contains an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid, which lowers glucose levels, increases insulin sensitivity and prevents oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes!  My ears perked up when I read that!  It also decreases peripheral neuropathy and/or autonomic neuropathy in diabetics!  This is good news for diabetics!!!

My theory is, if you can put enough stuff that actually tastes good (bacon, cheese, salad dressing) with the kale in your salad – it really sort of masks it enough that you can eat it without choking it down.  I’m being honest.  Have you tried to eat a piece of raw kale with nothing on it?  I rest my case.

I don’t juice because juicing is not the best choice for diabetics.  We need to keep the fiber intact rather than squeezing the juice from the fruit or vegetable.  The sugar content is found in the juice – and why would I want to ditch the fiber and keep the sugar?  That doesn’t make sense in my brain.kale

Kale is a super veggie, with more vitamins and minerals than spinach.  If you are lacking energy and seem to be dragging along, maybe you should try a salad with kale.  Use plenty of dressing – not a sweet dressing, but a blue cheese or ranch type dressing.  Read the labels before using – I prefer blue cheese but once in a while I use ranch.

Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, kale, collards, Swiss chard, and spinach are the most nutrient-dense of all foods.  – Joel Fuhrman

My kale salad is not as “fancy” as most recipes you’ll find because I don’t eat dried cranberries or pour sweet vinaigrettes over it, but for what it is, I think it’s good.

Kale Salad

INGREDIENTS:

6-7 cups chopped fresh kale leaves

1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6-8 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

INSTRUCTIONS:

Basically, just mix this all together, tossing with your hands.

Add your blue cheese dressing and you’re good to go!

 

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPLE MONTH

tl-10-4-apple-monthSo what do you think of when you see apples???  You’ll never believe what I think of – go ahead, guess.  Nope…  guess again.  Oh, you’ll never guess right.  Well, don’t laugh, but here it is:

I told you you’d never guess!  I think the dead-pan comedy of Bob Newhart is the best!

Speaking of the best…  how do ya like dem apples???

golden-delicious-applesI don’t eat apples often, since I’ve cut carbohydrates from my diet, but when I do get a chance to eat one, it has to be a golden delicious!  Last Summer’s crop looked so nice and juicy.  🙂

I’d probably use a red delicious if I were to make caramel apples for Halloween.  It might be weird to bite into one and discover a green apple.i-have-an-apple-basket

my-first-appleprayers-and-apple-piefresh-apples-from-the-orchardww-chunky-applesaucepicking-apples

apple-cider

Apples, Apples, Apples!!!

Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given. – Proverbs 25:11

It’s not only true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it’s also true that the tongue of the wise is health.  May we let our speech be filled with grace.

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.  – George Bernard Shaw

Do you have ideas about apples???

It’s been a challenge to find apple recipes that are low carb, but here’s one of my favorites:

LOW CARB GRAIN FREE APPLE DUMP CAKE

Serves 12, 11 carbs per serving

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. coconut flour

1 c. Splenda

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. baking soda

6 eggs, beaten

1/2 c. butter, melted & cooled

1 tsp. cinnamon liquid stevia

4 c. Gala or Fiji apples, peeled, cored, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk the flour, Splenda, cinnamon and baking soda together.  Whisk in eggs, butter and Stevia until combined.  Stir in apple slices until covered.  Spread mix into a greased 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Bake for 45-50 minutes.  Enjoy with Reddi-Whip.

Happy Apple Month!  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)Good people do live in my midst!  We’re getting ready for a garage sale later this month and spent a day preparing the garage for the tables, racks, etc.  The worst thing that can happen at a garage sale is when someone wants to buy something that you are not selling.  The solution is to cover everything that you want to keep with a tarp.

We were working in the garage when along comes our neighbor.  He’s a very pleasant man, friendly and hard-working.  He owns a farm just outside Wichita as well as a home in our little community.  He asked if our riding lawn mower was for sale.  My husband told him it was.  They worked out the details and our big -ticket item was sold.

Seems cut and dried, doesn’t it?  We get money and he gets the rider to use out on his farm.

The story’s not finished.  Here’s the cool part.

Yesterday was the open air market at our extension office.  Most of the vendors have stopped coming because summer is over.  We stopped to look around a bit, not expecting to find much.  There was our neighbor with the last of his vegetable crop – and it looked delicious, I must say.

Without saying a word, he bagged up most of what he had left and handed it to us.

He has absolutely NO idea what he did.  We have vegetables to put in our freezer for winter.  Our freezer was empty – now it’s full.  I think I know what the squirrels must feel like – collecting and filling their little homes with food for the winter months.

He told us it was a bonus payment on the mower.  We laughed.  I wanted to cry tears of joy.

But here’s the thing…  my dad had a garden every year and grew all the vegetables our neighbor does.  We’ve been buying vegetables at the market – but let’s face it, they just are not homegrown.  They don’t taste the same.

I’m sitting here now eating fried okra, crying tears of happiness.  It’s like a taste of home, to be honest.  This small gesture touched my heart and took me back home for just a little while.

This journey called life is filled with a little pain and a little sorrow, but once in a while, a neighbor does something that renews your faith in humans.  I could never thank him enough for that – not without crying, anyway.  It’s more than okra – it’s closing my eyes and going back to a late summer / early fall meal with my parents.  How do you thank someone for that?it-is-more-than-just-okra

I know it’s just a simple little story, but isn’t our life here on the planet about paying it forward?  It’s about sharing your bounty with those who are not farmers or gardeners.  Our neighbor would certainly have not had to do that.

I thank him not only for the food, but also for the wonderful memories that food sparked in me.  And as always, I’m so very grateful to God for making it all happen!  🙂

A SALUTE TO ALL THINGS PUMPKIN

tl-9-23-a-salute-to-all-things-pumpkinIf I listed everything related to pumpkin, you’d be reading until next Tuesday!  This is my favorite time of year and most of the reason has to do with pumpkin everything!

  • PUMPKIN PATCHES

https://wichita.citymomsblog.com/fall/pumpkin-patches-in-wichita-2016/

  • PUMPKIN SONGS
  • PUMPKIN MUFFINS FROM STARBUCKS

Just keep in mind, these yummy cream cheese muffins are a whopping 53g carbs and 14g fat!  I do make a copycat recipe at home, however – it makes me feel less guilty.  Will I share it?  Well, of course!  My recipe will still have carbs because it uses all-purpose flour, which is what gives baked goods the bounce and great texture we love.  Does it have as many carbs?  No – I substitute Splenda for sugar and cream for milk.  Let’s make muffins!

COPYCAT PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS:

For the muffin:

1 cup Splenda

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup pumpkin puree’

2 eggs

1/4 cup cream

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup Splenda

1 tsp. vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put muffin liners in tins.  Stir pumpkin, oil and Splenda together in a large bowl.  DO THIS BY HAND.  Stir in eggs, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda.  Stir in 1 cup flour, then stir in cream, then stir in remaining 1 cup flour.  Divide batter among muffin tins, filling 1/2 full.  Stir together cream cheese, Splenda and vanilla.  Drop 1 Tbs. onto the top of each muffin.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the muffin part comes out clean.

Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.  Store in refrigerator.  You can freeze these for a quick snack later.

  • PUMPKIN HAIR MASK

Nope – I’m not joking!  Thanks to NaturallyCurly.com for this really great hair mask!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup pumpkin

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 Tbs. honey

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put everything in a bowl and puree well.  If you don’t, you’ll end up with pumpkin chunks in your hair.  Separate hair in sections and smooth from root to tip all over.  Put on a shower cap and wait 20-30 minutes.  Shower and shampoo/condition as usual.

Fun Fact:  Pumpkin contains over 100 beneficial nutrients and is exceptionally high in beta carotene thus making it an ideal ingredient for hair products.

  • PUMPKIN SCENTED LOTIONS

http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=4304786

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin from Bath and Body Works – well, that really WORKS for me!  Have you tried it?  If they made that into a wax melt, I’d buy it!  Okay, I may not buy it if it’s super expensive, but I’d want to buy it.  😉

  • PUMPKIN WAX MELTS

Here’s how I roll on wax melts…  when I can get them for .89 a package from Bed, Bath & Beyond – I go for it!  There’s just one drawback to buying wax melts on the cheap…  I buy the fall and winter scents in the summer, and the spring and summer scents in the winter!  On a good day, I can buy up all they have and use my handy dandy coupon for more savings!

I’ll tell ya though – I don’t like paying upwards of $2 a package for them, so I buy the pumpkin scents in June, July and August because if I live long enough, autumn will show up eventually and it will be time to use them.

  • PUMPKIN POETRY

I have enjoyed sharing Lucinda’s poetry on my blog – and I know you’ve enjoyed reading it!  When I mentioned a salute to all things pumpkin, she got to work!  I thought I’d see one, maybe two poems at the most.  LOL – can you believe this…  she wrote a ton of pumpkin poems!!!  I couldn’t think of one to write – is this girl talented or what?

autumn-pumpkinsfall-on-the-farmpunkin-pieOh wait…  that one was mine – from like 3 years ago!  Thanks again to Matthew Deets for sharing a photo of his punkin’ pie!  I’m looking forward to some punkin’ pie pretty soon – with whipped cream on top!  Yum!  I did a non-scientific poll of my friends on facebook, asking what their favorite PUMPKIN thing is – and most said PIE – and I’m right there with ya – it’s pie for me too!  That’s my pumpkin thing, followed closely by the pumpkin spice coffee creamers – sugar free, of course.

Let’s enjoy some more pumpkin poetry from Lucinda:

autumn-times

pumpkins-and-patches

autumns-harvest

And a couple of poems I wrote to add – right at the last minute – whew!  Made it! 

the-orange-army

my-favorite-basketOf course, my favorite part of fall is decorating with my pumpkin baskets!

Nothing is more cute than seeing little people with little pumpkins – just so cute!!! 

pumpkins-just-their-size

We’ll be talking about this more on October 1st, but there’s some special pink pumpkins that are important to us.  Ladies, if you have not had your mammogram yet this year – get it done!  fall-awareness

There are so many ways to PUMPKIN-IZE your autumn!  Have some fun and make the most of the season.  Oh, and don’t forget to make the punkin’ pie!  🙂