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!

 

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK

TL 9-12 BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK

September 12-18 is BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK.  I want to invite you to make this little flamingo your profile photo on facebook and take a look at this pdf listing the top 10 facts about vestibular disorders.

https://vestibular.org/sites/default/files/page_files/Documents/Top%20Ten%20Facts%20about%20Vestibular%20Disorders.pdf

Also, please follow VEDA on facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/vestibulardisorders/

The fact that struck me most about vestibular disorders is that there is no cure for most of them.  You know, we take our balance for granted until we lose it.  Most of us just bounce out of bed in the morning without giving it much thought.  Some are not able to maintain their balance well enough to bounce out of bed.

The most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis, Ménière’s disease, secondary endolymphatic hydrops, and perilymph fistula. Vestibular disorders also include superior canal dehiscence, acoustic neuroma, ototoxicity, enlarged vestibular aqueduct syndrome, and mal de débarquement. Other problems related to vestibular dysfunction include vestibular migraine and complications from autoimmune disorders and allergies.

If you’ve ever had a head cold and your ears get plugged up a bit, sometimes it can cause you to lose your balance.  Aren’t we thankful that this condition will eventually pass?  I could not imagine having a disease that I knew would not go away.

I’m reminded of the perfection that awaits us in Heaven one day.

BODIES NEW AND STRONG

Today I hope you’ll take a moment to say a prayer for folks with these conditions.  A friend of mine has problems with balance because of an autoimmune disorder.  She takes about 40 medications a day and I think one of them is to help with the balance issue.  It seems that while each medication helps what it’s supposed to help, it also causes a side effect which in turn needs a medication to make that side effect better…  such a vicious cycle really.  We’ve talked and laughed about it several times, and she ends up saying, “You know, one of these days I’ll have a brand new body and won’t have to take a single pill.”

I agree…  these bodies are so fragile – and at times fickle.  Our new bodies will be perfect!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (20)If I’m going to maintain this low-carb weight losing lifestyle…  I’ve GOT to get creative!  I thought about all the foods that used to call to me and cause me to go find them.  I say USED TO because I’m talking about FAST FOOD!!!  Cover the kids’ ears, because this could be shocking!

Got ’em covered?  Good.  Okay…  here’s what I want you to do.  Think about your favorite fast food.  Mine is the Market Fresh Turkey & Swiss Sandwich at Arby’s.  Now – what ingredients do I need to say NO to?  The bread…  I have to say NO to the bread.

As far as I can tell, the rest of that sandwich is amazing and legal.  Sliced turkey, sliced Swiss cheese, tomato, red onion and romaine lettuce.  Instead of a traditional salad dressing, I mix mayo and Dijon mustard together and put it in the salad bowl.

And here’s what it looks like:IMG_1502It’s a happy little low-carb lunch!  I didn’t use romaine lettuce because I already had iceberg.  I made this salad for a fraction of the price they charge for the sandwich at Arby’s – and I’ll have enough stuff to make this a few more times!  Yay me!  Success!

There are sub shops that will make any of their sandwiches into salads for you – but you have to ask because some of them don’t have that information posted.  Most restaurants will bend over backwards to make substitutions for you, but ask if the change will cost you extra.  Different places have different policies and it’s best to be on the safe side.  You don’t want to get a big surprise on your check at the end of the meal.emergency-309727_1280

In the KEEP MOVING department…  so far, so good.  I’m going to Planet Fitness 3 days a week and working on the treadmill for 15 minutes, the bike for 15 minutes, leg machines at 20-50 pounds, arm machines at 20-30 pounds and ab machines at 20 pounds – and those things kill me – just being honest.

I’ll never be a skinny person, but I’m doing the best I can.  There are some pretty awesome rewards for being consistent with diet and exercise.  I don’t know why I doubted that it applied to me, but…  surprise – it does!  I’m pretty happy and very pleased that my blood glucose levels and A1c are in normal range.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (17)With regular exercise and a low-carbohydrate diet, I’ve lost 15 pounds already!  Believe it or not, that’s the side effect of this new lifestyle.  The best news is that I’m off of nighttime insulin and my dose of Metformin has been cut in half!  My next appointment is in October, so by then I will know if this is a lifestyle I can sustain, or one that is unsustainable.  But I can honestly say I’ve had no problem saying no to pasta, bread, potatoes, rice or beans (except green beans).

Folks have asked me what specific foods I eat.  So today, I want to give you a list of “go-to” low-carb foods that will reduce your blood sugar, help you lose weight and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

I don’t know how you can eat fat and not raise your cholesterol…  I don’t know – but I’m sure glad you can!

  1. EGGS have no carbohydrates and are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet.  I make frittatas and omelets of all kinds.  Don’t get stuck in an “egg rut” because that rut will keep you from being successful.  Experiment with eggs and don’t be afraid to try new things.
  2. MEATS of all kinds have no carbohydrates.  How about a Spanish omelet?  Ah…  now you’re putting the puzzle together, right?  People used to feel guilty for eating a 3-egg omelet.  Don’t be afraid of eating too many eggs.  I can’t eat a 3-egg omelet in one sitting, to be honest, but I do make it and eat half of it, then the other half for lunch.  We also have a favorite restaurant that makes a New York omelet with Applewood Smoked Bacon and real Swiss Cheese!  Oh it tastes so good.  The only thing I have to do is pick cottage cheese for the side dish.  I can do that.
  3. FISH AND SEAFOOD has no carbohydrates and are actually packed with healthy oils.  I keep cans of tuna in my pantry all the time.  I know not everyone likes canned tuna, but I like to make tuna salad with some mayo and sweet relish (made with Splenda).  You can’t use regular sweet relish because it has sugar and carbs in it.
  4. VEGETABLES that are green and leafy qualify as legal, with the majority of the carbs in them consisting of fiber.  Fiber is a friend.  I like to fix a salad once in a while with either a spring mix or iceberg lettuce.  I top it with sliced black olives and shredded cheddar.  Even though there is a lot of fat in Ranch dressing, it is low in carbs – so I use it.  It’s my understanding that Blue Cheese dressing is also low in carbs, which makes sense because it is cheese.  One vegetable to avoid would be corn.  Another is peas.  Raw vegetables are more healthy than cooked and generally lower in carbs.
  5. CHEESE of all kinds is low-carb or no carb.  As I said, I’m not sure why foods like cheese can be eaten without raising bad cholesterol – and actually lowers it – but it can be and I’m so glad.  Since I don’t eat hamburgers on a bun anymore, I melt cheese over a hamburger patty and eat it that way.  I seriously do not miss bread at all.  I’ve eaten this way since April – and it’s the first time a diet has not felt like a sacrifice of any kind.
  6. FRUITS & BERRIES need to be restricted, but I was so very happy to learn that my favorite fruit, the apricot, is only 4 carbs per piece!  I nearly did the happy dance when I learned that.  Also, a 1/2 cup of strawberries is only 6 carbs.  Most fruits and fruit juices are double-digit carbs, but these two are perfectly fine to eat.  I also put a little Reddi-Whip on top – it doesn’t have any carbs either.  I allow myself a cup of low-sugar orange juice in the morning.  It’s still 12 carbs, but I’m careful the rest of the day.
  7. NUTS & SEEDS make a great snack.  They are filling and satisfying in-between meals.  Some say that almonds are better than the others, but I think any nut is pretty healthy.  I never thought I’d be eating macadamia nuts without the cookie and white chocolate…  but they are quite tasty by themselves.
  8. HEAVY CREAM & WHIPPED TOPPING is low carb.  It’s high in dairy fat, but it’s fine to use it in your coffee or in a recipe.  I like to put Reddi-Whip on my sugar-free Jell-O then mix it up.
  9. FATS & OILS are acceptable on a low-carb, real food-based diet.  You can use real butter, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil and even good ol’ fashioned lard.  I know, it’s not easy to believe that eating like this could lower cholesterol and cause weight loss!
  10. BEVERAGES that are legal include the basics – water, diet soda, coffee, tea, club soda.  Fruit juices are not low-carb even though there are some low-sugar fruit juices on the market.  Most of them are double-digit carbs.
  11. DARK CHOCOLATE with a 70-85% cocoa content is lower in sugar, therefore, lower in carbs.  I think anything more strong than 70% is bitter, so I don’t eat it.  Once in a while, a girl’s just gotta have a piece of dark chocolate!  This is also good information to have when considering a recipe with chocolate in it.

I hope this helps.  You’ll note that there are no cereals or grains on this list and there’s a good reason for that…  they are too high in carbohydrates!  The goal is to keep your blood glucose happy and a bowl of cereal or toast or a bagel won’t do that.  Yes, you have to tweak some things – and you may get a strange look from the waitress at your favorite restaurant the first time you order cottage cheese with your omelet, but do it anyway.  I’m not just saying this, but I never really cared for fried potatoes or hash browns with my eggs anyway.  They certainly were not worth losing my health over…  ya know?

I may be older…  but I’m still just as stubborn as ever and I’m sure not DONE yet.  God has helped me get this far and He’s not going to stop helping me now.  I’ve failed Him so many times, but He will never fail me!  Have a blessed day!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)LC KEY LIME PIEThis has been such a fun journey with my friends!  Thanks to Deanna Stalnaker for sharing this recipe on facebook!  Even though we have shared great main dish and side dish recipes, what is life without a little dessert?  I was so tickled to see this because believe it or not, Key Lime Pie is my favorite – yeah, it really is!

Deanna said that even though the recipe calls for a 0.6 oz. package of sugar-free Jell-O, she uses the 0.3 oz. package.  So make a note of that.  😉

All people with healthy physical appetites have a sweet tooth somewhere in their heads.  – Macmillan’s Magazine, 1887

How about a low-carb strawberry cheesecake???  Yeah!  I’m on a roll.

I’m starting to like those pies with the ground pecan shells, aren’t you?

I’ve never before eaten a dessert, then tested and had my blood glucose be HAPPY!  I’m so excited about this…  I really am!

Pie…it fills the cracks of the heart. Go away, pain.  – Kevin James, Mall Cop

Did you see the movie, Mall Cop???  Kevin James cracks me up – and that’s a great movie!

So far I haven’t gone completely Atkins, but I think legal donuts sound really good!  I like “fair food” – and truth be told, that’s the real reason I go to our state fair every year.  :-/

So on those days when you don’t think you can live on low-carb and low-fat, know that you don’t have to.  There are alternatives to traditional high carbohydrate foods.  Aren’t we thankful for “the way of escape” recipes that keep blood glucose numbers happy?  I know I am!

Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.  – English proverb

What’s your favorite low-carb recipe?  Let me know in the comments below.  I believe we’re all here to help each other on this journey toward healthier blood glucose!  🙂

 

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (21)IMG_1323

There’s only one thing better than eating low-carbohydrate foods…  and that’s eating them on our antique dishes!  😉  We enjoy our autumn leaf pattern Jewel Tea dishes!

I’m learning what foods keep my blood sugar happy – YAY!  There’s a popular spot here in Kansas called THE BROOKVILLE HOTEL where they have just one meal on the menu, but folks come from miles around to enjoy their wonderful food!  They make everything the old-fashioned way with nothing “diet”.

I’ve tweaked the coleslaw recipe so that I can have it anytime I want.  Here is my low-carb version of this classic:

COLESLAW

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Whipping Cream
  • 2/3 cup Splenda (or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds shredded cabbage

Instructions:

Combine dressing ingredients and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

To serve mix with 1 1/2 pounds shredded or thinly sliced cabbage.

I never imagined I could eat a sandwich without bread, but I do because it makes my blood sugar happier.  Cheese is low or no carb and meat is completely legal.  In the days to come, as I learn more, I’ll share with you!

Up to this point, I know that I need to workout for an hour, 3 days a week and eat a very low carb diet.  On the days I don’t workout, I still stay as active as possible.  I usually take a brisk walk around my neighborhood for about a half hour.

http://www.brookvillehotel.com/

Brookville, Kansas was the original home of the hotel, but they were unable to stay there – so now they have a replica of the hotel built in Abilene, Kansas.  The food is still amazing, but it was sad to see them have to move from their original location.  The original old hotel was interesting to see.  Part of it was a bank – and we got to eat in the vault one time.

As you can see, the Brookville Hotel makes everything the old-fashioned way with real ingredients.  It’s yummy, but most of what they fix is high in carbohydrates.  Part of living a low-carb lifestyle means that you take the best foods on the menu and make them “legal” to eat.  I’m glad I could do that with the great coleslaw from the Brookville Hotel.  🙂

 

WHEAT MONTH

TL 7-21 JULY IS WHEAT MONTH

July’s Grain of the Month is Wheat. Worldwide, wheat is the third most-produced grain, trailing only corn (maize) and rice. In the United States, wheat accounts for about two-thirds of all grains consumed. However, much of the wheat we eat is refined (missing its nutritious bran and germ) or enriched (refined grain with just five of the dozens of missing or reduced nutrients added back in). If you eat wheat products, make sure they are whole wheat.WHEAT

Wheat fields are so graceful and agile just before harvest.  They wave in the Kansas wind and are probably the most friendly welcoming committee our state has!  Our crops were good this year – yay!  Most of the state got to harvest before all the really heavy rains hit, so that translates into profits.CHILDHOOD PLAYGROUND

I think it’s funny that I live in Kansas – the bread basket of America – and don’t eat wheat products.  Weird, huh?  Well, I’d support the wheat farmers if I could.  I have a disease that won’t let me eat products made with wheat – so I have to make adjustments.  Even though I can’t eat wheat myself, I can still celebrate wheat month!

Here is a low carb bread recipe.  I say low carb, but it’s more than I usually have.  I suppose on a day when I’m just craving bread so much I would make this, but I’d really have to be desperate.

LOW CARB WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

Makes 16 slices

19g carbs per slice / 9g protein per slice

INGREDIENTS:

1 C. water

1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 C. medium rye flour

1 Tbs. honey

1 Tbs. molasses

2 Tbs. Vital Wheat Gluten

1 tsp. salt

3 tsp. yeast

1 Tbs. olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put all ingredients in bread machine on dough cycle.  When that’s complete, shape dough into a log and let rise for one hour.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

It is my goal to have single digit carb count per serving of any food, so 19g carbs for one slice of bread is a bit much for me.  Besides, I haven’t owned a bread maker since 1999.  😉