A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)There are times in life when you have to eat cake – one of those times is your birthday, right?  Does that mean your blood glucose has to get out of whack?  Not long ago I would have said, “Yes – yes it does.”  Now I’ve found a great recipe for chocolate cake that serves two people – and takes just three minutes to whip up!  Perfect for a couple like my husband and myself.sacher-cake-1194524_1920

THREE MINUTE CHOCOLATE CAKE

Makes 2 servings – 9 carbs – 4 net carbs

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C. almond flour

1 Tbs. cocoa

1/4 tsp. baking powder

3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. Splenda

2 Tbs. butter, melted

1 Tbs. water

1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder and Splenda in a 2 cup glass measuring cup.  Stir in butter, water and egg.  Mix well.  Scrape batter down evenly with a rubber spatula.  Cover with plastic wrap and vent by cutting a small slit in the center.  Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute until set but still a little moist on top.  Cool slightly and serve warm with Reddi Whip.

If you are used to eating wedding cake with butter cream frosting, this will probably not taste wonderful to you, but if you’re like most of us and haven’t eaten wedding cake for years – and you avoid sweets as a general rule – you will notice that almond flour has a sort of “mealy” consistency, but if you can get past that, and appreciate that this cake will not cause your blood glucose to spike, you may find yourself yelling YEE-HAW because hey – this is the closest thing to chocolate cake you’ve eaten in a long time!

Almond flour is also much more expensive than all-purpose flour.  I rationalize spending the extra money by thinking of how much it cost to buy insulin every month.  My Levemir was costing about $400 a month.  A small sack of almond flour costs about $7.  I won’t eat too many things with it – but once in a while I want some pancakes or waffles – or some chocolate cake for a birthday celebration.

Isn’t it fantastic that we can eat a low carb diet that sometimes includes cocoa – and more to the point, know that our blood glucose will be happy?  I’m just so tickled with this discovery!

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)Would you think that most Asian food would be “legal” on a low carb diet?  Well, some of course is – the obvious choices are broccoli and beef or broccoli and chicken.  Pass on the rice, opting for more broccoli instead.  Once in a while it would be nice to indulge in some sweet and sour, wouldn’t it?  Oh – but that would give you a blood glucose spike like no other!  We’ve been so good so far – and we don’t want to blow it now.

Take heart – thanks to substitutions and some smart people who know how to create healthy alternative recipes, here is a recipe that will let you enjoy sweet and sour once again.sweet-and-sour-pork-1264563_1920

LOW CARB SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN OR PORK

Makes 4-6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Meat:

5-6 small boneless chicken breasts or equivalent amount of boneless pork loin, cut into bite-size pieces

2 large eggs, beaten

1 C. crushed pork rinds

1/2 C. almond flour

1/3 C. parmesan cheese

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. coconut oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:

1/2 C. Erythritol (I usually use Splenda – but it doesn’t work well in this recipe)

1/2 C. rice vinegar

4 Tbs. reduced sugar ketchup

1 Tbs. soy sauce

1 tsp. garlic powder

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put pork rinds, parmesan cheese ad almond flour in food processor.  Grind until it’s a meal like consistency.  Dip chicken or pork in egg then coat in the pork rind mixture.  Set on a plate.

Heat the oils in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add meat in small batches and cook.

Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan.  Whisk while it boils down.  If you want to add extra veggies like bell pepper, green beans, celery or a bit of pineapple, now’s the time to let it marinate with the sauce.

Once the meat is cooked, remove from skillet and continue cooking the rest of the batches.

Mix meat with sauce to coat.

I’m big on adding vegetables – so I add a bit of sliced red and green bell pepper and a few fresh green beans.  I’m not opposed to putting a chunk or two of pineapple with the sweet and sour pork.  I’m already living without the rice, I don’t want to do without just a bit of pineapple too.  😉

Enjoy!

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (14)The high protein low carbohydrate diet is going well, and I’m seeing results!  I’ve lost 13 pounds so far and I’m not finished yet.  Most importantly, my blood glucose has been very happy – ranging from 110-120 on average.

I knew I’d experience some cravings – I just didn’t know it would happen so quickly.  This week I have wanted PIZZA so much!  I started bargaining – saying if I had a small or personal size pizza, I could just eat everything off the crust and leave the crust.  I’m not sure I really would have done that (I want to think I would have).  As fate and God’s perfect timing would have it, my friend Deanna happened to post a recipe for a low carb pizza.  I was quick to snag it – and I think if I’m having pizza cravings, chances are others are having them too.  So I’m going to share this recipe with you today – you’re welcome!13592757_10207789953284942_1587270977619589536_n (2)Photo courtesy of Deanna Stalnaker

Low Carbohydrate Pizza

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 eggs

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp. chives

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. wet garlic, minced

2 C. mozzarella cheese

Toppings:

1/2 c. low-carb pizza sauce

1 C. mozzarella cheese

Pizza toppings of choice

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat together cream cheese and eggs until smooth.  Add cream, parmesan, chives, Italian seasoning and garlic.  Spray 9×13 pan with PAM.  Put 2 C. of mozzarella cheese in bottom of pan.  Pour egg mixture over cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread sauce over baked mixture.  Add toppings.  Cover with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Bake until bubbly and brown.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

A low carb diet is not difficult, but it does require some creativity at times.  Thankfully, there is positive support all over the internet, and I’m especially thankful for my friends who are there to help me every day with ideas, recipes and inspiration.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)I’m so thankful to God for guiding me in the right direction so I can manage my type 2 diabetes.  I’ve been committed to exercising 3 days a week and have embraced a low-carbohydrate, high protein diet.  I’ve lost 13 pounds so far and have not needed to take a shot of Levemir at night – for the most part.  My blood glucose has been consistently from 82-110 throughout the day.  I’m also thankful for the prayer support from friends on facebook and in the DOC.  Our facebook group, A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor and a Pinch of Faith, has been so wonderful and supportive – thank you!

I want to share some of the recipes that have made my blood glucose happy.  I wanted to wait until I knew for sure that this would work before sharing.  I’ve seen positive results, so I’m going to post them here for you.

I love Mexican food!  I was so happy to find this recipe because even though it’s a salad, it is a taco salad – and I’ll be honest – I like that “taco” part!

LOW CARBOHYDRATE TACO SALAD

Makes 4 servings, (approx. 2 cups ea)

9g carbohydrates / 31g protein per serving

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1 pkg. low-sodium taco seasoning

3/4 C. water

2 Tbs. olive oil

4 C. shredded lettuce

1/2 C. chopped tomatoes (omit if you want to lower the carbs even more)

8 Tbs. sour cream

1 C. shredded cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

With olive oil, brown ground beef in skillet.  Add taco seasoning mix with water.  Simmer until reduced.

Mix with remaining ingredients.  You can layer them in a big clear bowl – but I’m not fancy – I just mix it all up and serve.

Sometimes I pick up a little bag of Nacho flavored Doritos from the checkout line at Walmart to crush up and put on top.  Yeah, it adds a little carb, but you can add just a few for flavor.  It’s a small bag and there’s 4 servings – don’t sweat it.  I also add about 1/2 Tbs. of Catalina salad dressing sometimes.  Yes – I know…  I know.  Shh…  don’t tell.

I did say LOW carb – not NO carb, right?  😉

 

 

NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTHThere’s nothing better than ice cream on a hot summer day.  Most of us won’t indulge because of the high fat and sugar content, although thankfully there are some low-carb options available with lower sugar.  I’ve not seen one that is blueberry ice cream, but I found a sugar-free recipe that is fairly easy to make, and guess what?  It’s made with…  you guessed it – blueberries!BLUEBERRY ICE CREAMINGREDIENTS:

3 C. blueberries, fresh or frozen

6 eggs

1/4 tsp. Stevia extract, pure

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. xylitol, powdered

2 c. heavy cream

1 c whole milk

INSTRUCTIONS:

If you have granulated xylitol, run it through a food processor to make it into a powder.  If you’re using frozen blueberries, put them in a colander and run warm water over them so they will be mostly thawed.  Beat the eggs, xylitol and Stevia together until well combined.  Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix for a few seconds, just until the blueberries are a little broken up.  Pour cream mixture into an ice cream maker and run according to manufacturer’s suggestions.

Eat immediately and enjoy!

 

NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTHDid somebody say blueberry pancakes???  I’m sure I heard it!  If you are trying to cut carbohydrates, you don’t have to stop eating pancakes!  You can make them using Carbquick.  It’s available online.  http://www.carbsmart.com/carbquik.html

8 CARB BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Makes 6 pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 C. Carbquick

2 tsp. granular Splenda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 egg

2 Tbs. heavy cream

1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

1 C. blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk egg, cream and butter; blend into dry ingredients.  Whisk until smooth.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Pour batter onto hot greased griddle, two Tablespoons at a time.  Cook over medium heat until bubbles pop and stay open, then turn over and cook on the other side until golden.

These pancakes can be frozen, which means that you can make them on the weekend and have a healthy, convenient, fast breakfast on weekdays!  If you’ve ever wished that you could pop an Eggo waffle in the toaster without it spiking your blood sugar – well, now you can!  It’s not an Eggo, but it’s so much more healthy – but just as convenient!  Isn’t that great?

There’s no more excuses for carb cutters.  Get the Carbquick and discover the endless possibilities!  🙂

 

NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTHI’m the first to admit that most low carbohydrate blueberry muffins, while keeping my blood sugar in check, don’t taste as good as the real McCoy.  Today I want to share a little trick I’ve learned that will enable type 2 diabetics to enjoy the real McCoy and keep blood sugar in check.  It’s called “piecing” or “pinching”, and believe me, it works!

You can’t “piece” or “pinch” if you don’t work out.  If you are not exercising, this won’t work for you.  But you can have a little bit of real as long as you work it off.  After my workout at the gym, I headed over to my favorite breakfast spot, The Egg Crate.  They make the most wonderful blueberry muffins in Wichita!

IMG_1319If I were to dig in and eat this whole muffin, my blood sugar would spike – and that’s not good.  I will begin by eating an egg.  You can have whatever style egg you want – I just crack open an egg and whisk it up in a mug and microwave it so I can eat it quicker.  Add a little cheese if you want – it’s low or no carbohydrate so that’s fine.  Always eat protein first!

Eat just a pinch of your muffin and enjoy it with coffee or tea if you wish.  Then wrap it with foil so it doesn’t dry out.  Check your sugars in a couple of hours.  If they’re okay…  you can eat a cheese stick, then another pinch of your muffin.

Eating pinches of carbohydrate-rich foods is not a new concept, but it’s one that works!  I don’t know why eating protein makes carbohydrates nicer to my body, but I’m sure glad it does!

If you’re exercising on a regular basis and eating plenty of vegetables every day, there’s no reason you can’t introduce a complex carbohydrate following a little protein.  Maybe that’s why dessert forks are smaller than dinner forks.  The idea is that we can eat as much protein and vegetables as we want, but when it’s time for dessert, we need to dial back our enthusiasm a bit and try to think about what we’re eating and how it will affect our blood sugar.

I’d rather have a pinch of the real McCoy than live without it completely.  A wise diabetic educator once told me, “You can eat pretty much anything you want as long as you are exercising on a regular basis.”  I can eat as many vegetables as I want.  I can eat tuna salad until I turn into Charlie the Tuna.  I can go nuts eating nuts.  Black olives are my friend, as are other Mediterranean foods.  Those are the go-to foods.  But once in a while, I get a craving for a blueberry muffin.  Maybe it’s all this writing about blueberry month, I don’t know…  but I just had to get one!  But I know how to work it into my diet without spiking my blood sugar…  one pinch at a time.  😉

Slow and steady will win this race.  Exercise consistently and eat protein first.  I can do that!  🙂