A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)Modern medicine has finally caught up with what I’ve said for YEARS…  no two bodies are alike – thus, to tell everyone that they can lose weight on the same plan is completely ludicrous and frustrating.  Doesn’t it make perfect sense that every BODY has individual DNA and needs to be treated for whatever (weight, health issues, etc.) as an individual?  I’ve shouted it from the mountain tops for ages – EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT!!!  What works for me may not work for you.  My DNA is mine – just mine.  Your DNA belongs to you – just you.

Dr. Oz introduced a simple test to see how “tolerant” you are to carbohydrates.  Take 1/2 of a saltine cracker – pop it in your mouth and chew, counting as you chew – when the cracker changes in taste, write down how many seconds you chewed it.  The fewer seconds it takes, the less tolerant you are to carbohydrates – and the fewer you should eat in your diet.  If it takes less than 14 seconds, you have a low tolerance and should avoid them in your diet.

It’s called the 30 second cracker test:

http://www.doctoroz.com/

I’m raising my hand high!!!  I have practically NO tolerance for them.  It took that cracker 3 seconds to change taste.  It’s official…  my genes SUCK.  As I’m writing this, there is an advertisement on television for Sero Vital.  Yeah – can I just go get some of that???  LOL – it won’t change my DNA though, right?  Shoot!

Well, I know I’m not the only one who is in that unlucky group.  But here’s the good news…

I’ve cut carbohydrates from my diet and joined Planet fitness – and exercise three days a week.  My hemoglobin A1c is 6.3 which is normal.  I’ve lost 30 pounds and a couple of dress sizes – well, actually about 4 dress sizes.  I have more energy now and am happier than I’ve been in years!

http://www.carb-counter.net/

Is a new lifestyle worth starting???  Oh yes!  Is it easy???  Not always.  I ate a serving of ravioli at my favorite Italian restaurant on New Year’s Eve.  That is the first pasta I’ve eaten since April of 2015.  Will I be eating pasta again anytime soon?  Nope.

Has that little splurge affected my A1c?  I guarantee it didn’t.  It affected my blood sugar at the time, but it’s back on track now.  I got right back on the low-carb wagon and everything’s fine.

I love this diet because if you do give in to a food you shouldn’t eat – just don’t do it again for a long while.  Save those splurge times for special occasions…  Valentine’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, birthday, Halloween (if you’re into that), Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day.  My next planned splurge day is Valentine’s Day.  I have plans…  big – yummy plans!  It includes a little trip to the Russell-Stover candy store.  Yup!  complex-carbohydrates

You can do this.  If you have a low tolerance for carbohydrates, you are not doomed to a life of type 2 diabetes and insulin shots!  Just eat more lean meats, fish, vegetables (with no carb veggie dip if you want), an apple once in a while.  There are millions of low-carb recipes online.  There are support groups on facebook where you can post recipes to make the diet more interesting.  Nobody wants to be in a food rut.

On a funny note…  I keep a can of whipped topping in the door of the refrigerator.  When I want to taste something kind of sweet (but not overly sweet), I take a little taste of whipped topping – LOL.  I will say – it’s not a quiet sneak.  I always get “busted”.  But it’s okay – there are no carbs in whipped topping – it’s legal.

I eat a bit of cream cheese – I don’t put it on anything – I just eat it.  Not a lot, just a bit.  I take a bit of sour cream the same way.  A dollop – and it’s yummy.  Cream cheese and sour cream have no carbs.  Sometimes I fry up bacon to dip in sour cream – that’s pretty good too.

Have you ever mixed salsa and sour cream together?  I do that and put it on scrambled eggs once in a while.  Don’t knock it ’til ya tried it.

It blows my mind that I can eat cheesecake – real cheesecake!  But I need to say no to a baked potato – isn’t that crazy???  I know – who knew???  15878948_1869323266645468_1132251956_n

The one thing that has to remain consistent regardless of my diet is regular exercise – I can’t skip that or I’m sunk! 

gym

While physical exercise is beneficial for mind and body, we all know that there is an exercise that is good for the heart, as Lucinda reminds us:

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Death by Chocolate cheesecake from All Day I Dream about Food…  YEA!!!  But it’s not DEATH really – it’s helping me to LIVE!!!  Thankfully, I’ve figured out how to LIVE again – and live well.  Click on the link to find the recipe!  Enjoy!  🙂

http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2015/09/low-carb-death-by-chocolate-cheesecake.html

 

 

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PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!  Obviously, today I am very thankful for…  FOOD!  Yes, family and friends make it all taste better…  but today is the day that is all about the big meal.  The day I allow myself to eat a hot roll and mashed potatoes.  I will – and I’ll enjoy every bite, thank you very much!

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.   – Meister Eckhart

Let’s say a prayer of thanks for our meal today:a-poem-prayer-for-thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.  – E.P. Powell

Of course I’m thankful for so many things…  so is Lucinda!

card-tables

What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?  – Erma Bombeck, “No One Diets on Thanksgiving,” 26 November 1981

I wish for you today fullness in a physical sense, of course, but also a spiritual sense of fullness.  I wish that you will not just see the blessings before you – food, friends, family, furbabies, shelter, warmth, love…  and yes, card tables.  But may you also literally feel a sense of thankfulness to God for all of it!  Have a lovely and blessed Thanksgiving!  🙂

NATIONAL MEN MAKE DINNER DAY

tl-11-3-national-men-make-dinner-day

The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds — they mature slowly. – Peter De Vries

My husband makes dinner every night – I can’t cook worth a lick!  But guys, if you are as lost in the kitchen as I am, here is a recipe that even I can make – and it’s pretty tasty too!

On a low-carb diet, it’s not uncommon to be craving Italian food.  This dish combines a little Italian flavor with some Greek flavor.  I think you’ll like it!

PESTO CHICKEN CASSEROLE (Makes 4 servings)

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs (or breasts if you like white meat)

4 oz. red or green pesto

1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

1/2 c. pitted black olives

1/2 lb. feta cheese, diced

1 clove garlic, chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

Butter for frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Season with salt & pepper.  Fry in butter until golden brown.  Mix pesto and heavy cream in a bowl.  Place fried chicken pieces in baking dish along with olives, cheese and garlic.  Add pesto mix.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

VOILA’!!!

I usually toss a little salad to go with this – some baby spinach and assorted veggies that you like.  Make some homemade dressing with olive oil and vinegar or use a ranch or blue cheese – something low carb.

To keep the fire burning brightly there’s one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart — about a finger’s breadth — for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule.  – Marnie Reed Crowell

As important as the meal is – it’s equally important to set a pretty table.  Oh – and don’t forget to light the candles.  Soft music is optional.

I hate to mention it…  but it’s also a great idea to plan to clean up your mess in the kitchen after dinner.

Just a thought – as nice as it is to have a special holiday for this, it’s also wonderful for men to cook when wives are super busy or when they’re feeling under the weather – or caring for children who are sick.  Have a wonderful day – happy cooking, guys!  🙂

 

 

WORLD PASTA DAY

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TL 10-25 WORLD PASTA DAY (2)

Did you know there are over 400 unique types of pasta?  There are so many possibilities for amazing soups, salads and casseroles!  Which one will you create today???

Since I’m a diabetic, I have to be careful to pair pasta with lean protein.  I also try to use a whole wheat pasta when possible.  To be honest – I really prefer regular pasta.  The whole wheat pasta is heavier and an acquired taste.  I’ve not acquired a taste for it – yet.  I may never acquire a taste for it.  😦

I like Dreamfields pasta, especially the lasagna noodles!  I don’t always find it at my local grocery store, but every now and then I find it.

This is my favorite recipe.  Enjoy!  🙂

Ingredients:

12 Dreamfields Lasagna noodles

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, minced

4 cups fresh spinach

2 zucchini, thinly sliced

1 cup peas (thawed if frozen)

16 ounces non-fat ricotta cheese

16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

5 cups marinara sauce 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Prepare pasta according to package directions; set aside. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes or until translucent. Stir in Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook 30 seconds; add spinach, zucchini and peas. Cook 10 minutes or until spinach is wilted, peas are cooked through and zucchini is tender. Remove from heat; drain off any liquid. In separate bowl combine ricotta cheeses and grated nutmeg. Preheat oven to 375 F°. Spread 3/4 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9×13-inch oven-safe baking dish. Layer with 4 of the lasagna noodles (3 vertical, one horizontal). Spread 1/2 of ricotta mixture and 1/2 of vegetable mixture over noodles. Spoon 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce over vegetable mixture. Continue to layer with lasagna noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, remaining vegetable mixture and 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce. Top with remaining 4 additional lasagna noodles and remaining 1 1/4 cups marinara sauce. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese; cover loosely with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Remove foil; continue baking 10 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information (1/8 of recipe): Calories: 490 Fat: 18 grams Carbs: 56 grams Protein: 26 grams Saturated Fat: 8 grams Cholesterol: 45 mg Sodium: 930 mg Dietary Fiber: 9 grams

Happy World Pasta Day!!!  🙂

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!  🙂

 

 

 

SALAMI DAY

TL 9-7 SALAMI DAY

http://www.salamiday.com/

salami-and-cheese

There’s no better sight at a party or other get together than a snack tray with tons of low-carb goodies!  Since today is Salami Day, I’m going to focus on this delicious cold cut favorite.  Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with original ideas for salami.  Back when I ate more carbs, I used to make a nice roll-up snack with cream cheese and salami that was very popular.  I wondered what would happen if I made it but used the salami in place of the tortilla.  Well…  it wasn’t bad – not bad at all.

SALAMI AND CREAM CHEESE ROLL-UPS

Makes 15 servings

INGREDIENTS:

15 salami slices

1.25 oz. cream cheese

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 banana pepper, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS:

Stuff each salami slice with equal amounts of the other ingredients.  Hold it closed with a toothpick.

This is a great way to have a snack ready to eat when you get a case of the munchies but don’t want to reach for chips or crackers.  It only takes about ten minutes to fix these up, so there are no excuses.

untitled (3)Photo:  Pinterest

 

 

 

 

Here are some different types of salami available:

  • Soppressata:  Usually made with pork, soppressata has a higher fat content and a more rustic appearance than most salami.  It’s pressed with a heavy weight while curing and cured until it loses 30% of its weight, intensifying its flavor.
  • Cotto:  Salami that has been partially cook or smoked before or after curing.
  • Genoa:  Made with pork and veal, it’s seasoned with garlic, red wine and pepper.
  • Nduja:  An addictive spreadable salami made of pork meat, pork fat and spicy red peppers.
  • Peppered:  It’s HOT because it’s been rolled in cracked peppercorns or dried herbs.
  • Pepperoni:  Finely ground, lightly smoked and spicy.  This is an Italian-American invention and most of us have enjoyed it on a pizza at one time or the other.

There are football games in some of our futures, and other family times…  this is just one of many ideas of how to stay on track while making it look like you are splurging.  Cold cuts, cheese, olives…  it’s all good.

When we lose twenty pounds… we may be losing the twenty best pounds we have! We may be losing the pounds that contain our genius, our humanity, our love and honesty.  – Woody Allen

I sure hope Woody Allen is not right about that!  I hope and pray that my genius, humanity, love and honesty are still intact.  To date I have lost 20 pounds – and I’m thrilled!

There are so many great recipes online – and my friends on facebook – especially the people in my group, A SECOND HELPING OF WELLNESS…  WITH A DASH OF HUMOR & A PINCH OF FAITH are so supportive and have helped me along so much!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/asecondhelpingofwellness/

You know, they say it takes a village to raise a child…  but let me tell ya…  it takes a village to keep a dieter from giving in to temptation and eating all the wrong things – it really does!  There are days I want to eat Texas toast or the rolls at Logan’s or one of those little 4-packs of Hawaiian rolls…  with some dill dip!  I’m just being honest.  One of my co-workers got me hooked on the Hawaiian rolls and dill dip – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it…  oh – but don’t even get started on it because it’s bad.  It’s very very bad!  Forget I mentioned it.  😉

 

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!  🙂