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!  🙂

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

 

Last week my husband and I were in Blackwell, OK, just about an hour south (via the turnpike) of Wichita.  He was getting gas at the Conoco station because it was 20 cents a gallon cheaper than gas back home.  We don’t typically drive an hour to save money on gas, but it was a nice perk since we were going that way anyhow.

I had nothing in particular running through my mind – (for all of you who know me in real life, this comes as no surprise) – then I saw a robin holding a very long blade of grass, hopping between two cars.  It struck me as funny – there were vehicles everywhere and there’s a bird – a very busy bird – making a nest in the eave of the building!  I felt privileged to be given the opportunity to witness it and thanked God.  I love spring, don’t you?

The sight took me back in time and made me think of something I have not thought about for a long time.  Tears began to stream, as they are as I write this now – but it’s okay because they are happy tears, the kind that come when a sweet memory is revisited.

When I was about 7 years old, I spotted a bird’s nest on a low branch of the pine tree in our front yard.  I excitedly ran into the house to let mom and dad know about my discovery.  Daddy sat me down to explain some ground rules.  I listened intently.

  • You can’t go too close to the nest
  • You can’t touch the nest (I remember thinking, “If I can’t go close to it, how can I possibly touch it?”)
  • You can borrow my binoculars to stand on the porch and look into the nest.  I felt so grown up.  Daddy didn’t let just anybody borrow his binoculars.
  • You can’t tell the neighbor kids about your discovery. (Did he KNOW those kids, or what?)
  • If you see something that doesn’t look right, don’t try to do anything yourself.  Find me or mom to help you.

Okey doke – I got that!  I used my daddy’s binoculars to check on the little nest every day.  The pretty blue robin eggs just stayed in one spot for what seemed like forever.  Then one day I checked on them – and the eggs had hatched – and there were 3 of the cutest baby birds!

Daddy wanted to name them Larry, Moe and Curly – but I wouldn’t hear of it.  They were Dexter, Samuel and Robbie.  No, I don’t know why – don’t ask me!

It was such fun to watch mama robin come back to the nest and feed them.  I’ve always been so impressed with the instincts and intelligence God endowed birds with – I mean, to me they are very smart!  I don’t understand people who use the phrase “BIRD BRAIN” – I take it as a compliment – LOL.

One day I peeked in on them – there were two baby birds.  I knew it wasn’t time for them to leave the nest yet – so I rushed in the house and screamed bloody murder to get someone’s attention.  Daddy was having his morning coffee but came running anyway.  I reported my findings to him with panic in my voice.  If that baby was not in the nest, it meant it had fallen out – and who knows if it was still among the living!

Daddy told me to stay in the house and he would go check things out.  He came in with the baby bird, miraculously breathing, in a small container.  He said, “Robbie fell out of the nest.  I think we need to help him, don’t you?”  I nodded my head in fervent agreement.  The task was at hand, and we were up for the challenge.  We prayed for our feathered friend and got to work.

We used a dropper to feed Robbie.  He did okay and I was tickled.  He grew and thrived!  I knew I could not keep him, but the day we had to set that bird free was the most difficult day.  Robbie knew he could not stay with us.  It could be my imagination, but I think he gave us a nod as if to say “Thank you for helping me” before flying away.  God answered our prayer.  Our baby was gonna be okay.

Once in a while, especially in the evening after working on the lawn, as we sat together as a family at the picnic table out in the back yard, my dad would see a robin and say, “Hey Linda, I think that’s Robbie!” 

Well, only God knows if our little Robbie ever really came back to see us, but I’d like to think he did visit us on occasion.  Wink!  😉