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!  🙂

BIRTHDAY #55

TL 4-2 BIRTHDAY #55

4-2 PERKS & PITFALLS

Last night I got such a sweet present from Lucinda Berry Hill.  Thank you, my friend!  You’ve made turning the ol’ double nickel so much better!  🙂  I love that basket heart too – don’t you???

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God has blessed me with another year of life!  Today I am the ol’ double nickel…  old enough to receive a senior citizen discount at most restaurants and I could join AARP (but that will never happen because I am not a fan…).  I am a fan of good health, happiness, faith and joy.  I’m thankful for every day God gives me to begin again and do better with His help.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,  compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and,  if one has a complaint against another,  forgiving each other;  as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  – Colossians 3:12-13

Of all the things I could pray for, today I ask God to give me more compassion for everyone and everything around me.  I want to be more relatable than ever because it’s what God wants for me.  He wants all of us to be more gentle and kind with one another.  I KNOW I need to have more patience and compassion for those young drivers…  Lord help me with road rage!

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.  –  Albert Schweitzer

You are not going to believe this, but shortly after I wrote this post, Lucinda sent me a poem to design.  As I read it – the little blurb about compassion just reached out and slapped me!  I have to share it today.  I love how God guides both of us to write – but it’s especially cool when we’re both directed to write so similarly!  I just got chills when I read this.12571279_1738613263049803_574237969_n

Yes – I will make an effort to bring calmness where I walk, to show kindness and compassion, and pointing all to God.  SEE why I got chills up my spine???  WE LOVE HOW GOD WORKS

Love you, my sister in Christ!  ❤

My husband gave me a a 3.5 qt. Dutch oven.  Of course I’ll be trying it out today.  So, let me share the recipe with you.  Just one more thing…  if you are not a vinegar fan, you may want to add a couple of packets of Splenda or Truvia to this.  It’s got a pretty strong vinegar flavor.  😉

Vinegar-Braised Chicken & Onions (serves 6)

Ingredients:

2 lbs. pearl onions

Kosher salt

3 Tbs. olive oil

8 oz. pancetta (Italian bacon), cut into 1/4″ pieces

4 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed

5 lbs. chicken pieces (I use thighs & legs)

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 c. balsamic vinegar

3/4 c. red wine vinegar

2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 c. golden raisins

2 bay leaves

Directions:

  • Cook onions in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 5-8 minutes. Drain and let cool. Trim root ends; peel.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add pancetta to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and pancetta is brown, 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a large bowl.
  • Add onions to same pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer onions and garlic to bowl with pancetta.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add chicken to pot skin side down and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, 10-15 minutes per batch; transfer to bowl with onions.
  • Carefully drain fat from pot and return to medium-high heat. Add both vinegars to pot and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Add broth, raisins, bay leaves, and reserved chicken, pancetta, onions, and garlic to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is fork-tender, 35-40 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and onions to a large platter. Skim fat from cooking liquid and discard. Remove bay leaves, and season sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and onions.

For dessert we will probably have some fresh sliced strawberries with whipped topping.  Sounds like a great birthday dinner to me!  🙂

WORLD NUTELLA DAY

TL 2-5 WORLD NUTELLA DAY

2-5 THE NUTELLA FELLA

It’s WORLD NUTELLA DAY!!!  This special day was started back in 2007 by people in social media, but the product has been around for over 50 years!  Once you’ve tasted this hazelnut and cocoa spread you will be a fan too!  There is even a fan page on facebook – check it out!  http://www.facebook.com/WorldNutellaDay

 All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.  – John Gunther

The most popular way to enjoy Nutella is on toast or pancakes.  It’s fun and healthy to add blueberries or strawberries to the mix.  Pineapple rings and kiwi fruit taste pretty good with it too.  Is it a snowy February where you live?  Are you having a craving for chocolate?  Nutella is a great way to curb the craving without breaking the calorie bank – especially on a snowy day!

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Nutella and banana slices are good on English muffins.  I’m making myself hungry! 

How about a high protein cake in a mug using Nutella???

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Croissant with Nutella and strawberry slices???  Very nice!

How about some hot chocolate???  It’s not as healthy – but it sure looks yummy!  🙂

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Remember the days before Nutella when we ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches?  Now that Nutella is here, we replace regular peanut butter and get a better sandwich.  There is no hydrogenated oil in Nutella and there is cocoa in it, so hey – if there is chocolate in my spread…  that makes me very happy – how about you???

Never work before breakfast; if you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first.  – Josh Billings

With all this butter, I can’t promise that this is the most healthy recipe I’ve ever seen, but it does look good.  I wouldn’t recommend eating the whole thing in one setting.

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Have you heard of the Nutella “Spread the Happy” Truck Tour?  They’ve taken it on the road!  This video is from July 2014 – and at that time they were celebrating 50 years of spreading happy!  I had no idea it had been around that long!

 

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I like no bake cookies.  These are fun and easy – and delicious!

I do know that once you try Nutella you will get hooked.  It’s delicious with crepes, pancakes, toast or English muffins.  I even use it in my oatmeal.  You may even find yourself eating it by the spoonful!  Wink!  😉

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SHE FOUND HER BETTER HALF FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE DAY

TL 6-9 STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE DAY

https://youtu.be/M3Xau2Wccsg
For centuries Rhubarb was only used for medicinal purposes. It was used mainly to treat constipation and inflammation. The unlikely stalk has been deemed edible. The question remains: Is Rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable? Well, for purposes of regulation in the United States since it is mostly used as a fruit, it is counted as such. Still most people assume it is a vegetable. The debate continues.

Rhubarb is used mainly in desserts but sometimes in savory food as well. Only the stems are used in cooking as the leaves are toxic. Some folks are think that the whole thing should be deemed toxic. If it’s hidden well enough, I’ll eat rhubarb. It has to be hidden though. If I start tasting that stringy stuff, forget it – that’s a deal-breaker. I’ll scoop it into a nearby houseplant when you’re not looking if it’s stringy. Ugh!

I wanted to find out who first thought of adding Rhubarb to strawberries for this pie. There are some questions that it seems the world-wide web cannot even answer. Oh well – whoever thought of doing that – it really did catch on, didn’t it??? A lot of people really like Strawberry Rhubarb pie!

Today is STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE DAY!!! Be sure to celebrate this day but use a certain degree of caution with portion size! The average Strawberry Rhubarb Pie has at least 1 1/2 cups of sugar!!! Fortunately, I was able to find a recipe for SUGAR-FREE Strawberry Rhubarb Walnut Crisps – so let’s take a look!

I’m not one to bake very much, but I think that’s a recipe that even I could tackle! I’m so glad there are diabetic-friendly dessert recipes available, aren’t you? Because as we all know, DESSERTS spelled backwards is STRESSED. Some of us deal with our STRESS by eating DESSERT – jus’ sayin’…   😉

PICK STRAWBERRIES DAY

TL 5-20 PICK STRAWBERRIES DAY

When I think of spring, I automatically think of strawberries! Although I eat a golden delicious apple every day, I also incorporate strawberries into my diet in season. I think it’s fun to have them out at parties with the chocolate fountain as well. How can you possibly have a bad time when there are chocolate-covered strawberries at a party?

My mother in law grew strawberries and she used to invite me over to help her pick them. The fields of strawberries looked as though they were growing in little mounds. She had the places higher where the strawberries grew. I asked her why one time and she said it has to do with the irrigation process. She used a unique sort of terracing method that was quite effective. I sure got spoiled on those berries and the ones we buy at the grocery store are just not as tasty.

I remember humming the Beatles’ hit song, Strawberry Fields as I was picking them. Funny what comes to mind sometimes…

Today is PICK STRAWBERRIES DAY!!!  I want to share one of my favorite smoothie recipes with you.  Now, some of you who are diabetic are going to tell me there’s no way I should be drinking this because of all the natural sugar.  I’m very strict about the serving size.  I don’t drink more than 6 oz. of this wonderful stuff – any more than that and I would be asking for trouble!  I hope you enjoy it – sparingly, of course!!!  😉

STRAWBERRY, PINEAPPLE AND ORANGE SMOOTHIE

2 fresh pineapple slices
4 strawberries
½ banana
1 cup orange juice
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tbs agave nectar (I use Stevia)
3 ice cubes

You can add ground flax seeds or raw oatmeal for added fiber benefit

Blend everything until desired consistency

Put a little paper umbrella and a bendable straw in your glass and go to the deck or patio.  Mmm…  what a yummy way to end a hectic Monday!!!  Cheers!!!   😀