Dr. Atkins Interview

While researching, I stumbled onto an interview that Larry King did with Dr. Atkins in 2003 (just before he passed). I spliced, edited, synched the audio and uploaded it to my channel. I may have missed a commercial break or two but I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (though I REALLY do not like Larry King). This was just before he published “Atkins for Life: The Next Level”. If you listen to him, what he says really hadn’t changed since he published his first book in 1972 (except in 2003 there were many more options for low carb eaters).

 

My Gallbladder Journey

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

When my gallbladder was removed in October of 2017, I thought it would solve so many of my digestive issues. I have gotten better but it took me much longer than the surgeon or all of my doctors thought it should. This has been a very trying (and expensive) 10 months but I have finally turned the corner and wanted to share my discovery with you.

Before my surgery, I would describe my eating as almost intermittent fasting. If I ate anything during the day, it was a small amount and low carb/keto (a bit of meat or cheese … something like that). My biggest meal was dinner with my husband and, to get in all my calories, it was a pretty big meal.

After my gallbladder was removed and I was healed, the surgeon said, “Go back to eating like you normally do.” So, I did and that was a HUGE mistake. I did my best to slowly ease back into my typical eating pattern but once I did, it was awful! It would vary between instant nausea as soon as food touched my stomach to feeling like I had a giant boulder in my gut. My stomach was distended and painful, lasting for up to 6 hours at a time.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When I was little I was told that a horse’s intestines could get knotted up when they rolled around on the ground (I still don’t know if that’s true … never bothered to look it up). This is what went through my head after I had my gallbladder removed: I thought there was something terribly wrong and my intestines would just explode if I kept eating anything solid. I finally went back to the doctor and that is when the expensive part of this “adventure” began.

First, my gastroenterologist told me to eat low-fat, no solid meats, and low fiber (I have a friend who describes this as the “white bread diet”).  So, that’s what I did, eating ground, low fat meats, eggs, cottage cheese, rice, potatoes (without skins), etc. It did ease some of my symptoms but it caused others (like a 20 pound weight gain).

Next, I had an ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, upper endoscopy, colonoscopy and so much blood work that the lab technician knows me by name. So, what did they find? I have a minor hiatal hernia, GERD, and had 2 polyps removed. Were any of these the cause of my specific gut issues? Nope! None of the doctors knew (or know) what has caused any of my symptoms but I think I have figured it out (thanks to Google).

I tried digestive enzymes. I tried ox bile. I tried apple cider vinegar (this and the ox bile gave me instant heartburn). Then, while frantically Googling, I finally discovered what was causing my issues: I was eating too much food at one time. See, The gallbladder stores bile. When we eat fats/protein, the gallbladder releases enough bile to aid in digestion. Without a gallbladder, bile is slowly released constantly by the liver. So, if you eat a lot of fats or protein at one time, it takes more time to digest.

So, I started eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of one giant meal. Then, I slowly started cutting back on my carbohydrates and adding fats. This has made a huge difference and has enabled me to finally lower my carbohydrates back down to below 20 grams total for the first time in over a year! I read that, over time, my body may adjust on its own (by maintaining a higher level of bile in my digestive tract). This seems to be the case because last week I was able to eat a large T-bone steak without any discomfort at all! Overall, though, I am happy with eating 6 or so small meals per day.

I may never be able to ever do intermittent fasting again but I am thrilled to be able to eat my glorious fatty meats again!

Next week, I will share about my next major health hurdle: atrial fibrillation.

Low Carb Food Storage

Well, since my switch in eating, I’ve been thinking about all of my food storage.  Boy, I have some adjustments to make!  Flour, sugar, jams and jellies (sugar-made), beans, white rice, oats, etc.  So, I went searching for suggestions online.  I found some great links to check out:

I don’t usually like “about.com” articles, this is a good basic one:

http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/lowcarbemergencyfood.htm

A One-Month Long-Term Food Supply from a Low-Carb Perspective from Claiming Liberty:

http://claimingliberty.com/2011/08/25/a-one-month-long-term-food-supply-from-a-low-carb-perspective/

Here is a video about dehydrating spaghetti squash:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKwopbMrvAg

Paleo Prepper: I have barely looked through this website but it’s intriguing!

http://paleoprepper.com/

Here’s a post by The Low Carb Prepper (good stuff):

http://modernsurvivalonline.com/guest-post-the-low-carb-prepper/

Duh, I didn’t even think of dairy!  “Do you store foods you shouldn’t?”

https://dfwpreppers.com/2011/02/do-you-store-foods-you-shouldnt/

Here’s a thread at The Survival Podcast Forums:

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=20965.0

And here’s a post from a now defunct website (the woman was following the HCG diet):

Disaster Preparedness, Low Carb Food Options, No Refrigeration Required

Maintaining During Phase 4

 

A hurricane said to rival Katrina is set to hit the Louisiana coast any minute. In areas decimated by storms, people stand in line for hours, waiting on water and food handouts. They are being turned away, empty handed, when supplies run out.

Natural disasters can happen anywhere at any time. I live in a suburb of one of the largest cities in the Midwest and due to three different ice storms in the last six years, we’ve lost power four to seven days each time. I also live in tornado alley – our area was hit by F5 twisters twice in the last two years and people were without electrical power, phone service and water for weeks at a time.

It can happen to you. Are you prepared? Earthquake, flood, tornado, hurricane or national emergency due to a terrorist activity: any one of these events can happen at any time and cut off basic services for days or weeks. Prepare your emergency food plan and have everything in place before the emergency happens. Your low-carb life style does not have to be put on hold or go out the window if you are faced with sudden adversity.

Water is the most important staple and should be number one on your food list. Allow 2 quarts of drinking water per day for a normal, active person. Be aware that if you are operating in a hot environment that need will double. Children, nursing mothers, people on special diets or the ill will need more water. Allow extra water for food preparation, brushing teeth, hygiene, etc. One gallon of water per day per person should be the absolute minimum you have on hand, and store at least three days worth.

Water can be stored in any food safe container. Empty plastic soda bottles are an excellent choice – wash well and fill. If you have a freezer and don’t keep it completely full of food, store some of your water bottles there. In the event of a power failure the frozen bottles can be used to cool food stored in coolers, and as they slowly melt the ice-cold water will be refreshing to drink. Store your water supply in a cool, dark place, such as the corner of a basement or a basement cupboard.

If you are involved in an emergency situation and your drinking water supplies are running low, keep in mind that the water heater in the home is a storage tank you can tap. Water in the toilet tank, as long as no cleaning agents have been added, can also be used. Do you have a waterbed? Drain it and use that water to flush the toilet, or boil well and use for cleaning. If you have advance warning of an impending disaster, fill the bathtub, the sinks and clean trash cans. This water can be used for the toilets and for cleaning and will preserve your drinking water supply.

A low-carb diet is based on fresh vegetables and fresh protein sources, but in an emergency fresh is not going to be available. If you plan your food storage choices wisely, you can still eat low-carb as you weather the storm.

The obvious protein sources to choose for storage are canned meats and fish – tuna, sardines, salmon, oysters, shrimp, chicken, ham, Spam, turkey, clams, corned beef, chicken spread, ham spread, mackerel and mussels. Read labels and buy the lowest carb count beef or turkey jerky you can find. Meat sticks will also store well.

Stock up on canned beans. Many beans are fairly high in carbs, often containing 12 to 14 grams per half-cup but if you are active in clearing brush or storm debris or are in the maintenance phase of a low-carb diet you can eat more carbs than normal. Think of the other members of your family, too. Men and children, especially if they are active, can eat more carbs and canned beans are an excellent protein source.

Invest in nut butters. Read the labels and pick sugar-free or the lowest carb count you can. Peanut butter and almond butter are good choices. Store sugar-free jam or jelly to go with the nut butters. Even if this is not a food choice you normally eat your children will love you for thinking of them.

Buy canned nuts: pecans, macadamia, Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, soybean nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are high in protein along with essential fats, fiber and nutrients.

Canned vegetables are a great choice for emergency food storage. Green beans, wax beans, white kernel corn, beets, peas, zucchini, asparagus spears, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, peas & carrots, olives, dill pickles, eggplant, baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, roasted red peppers, pimentos and artichoke hearts are low-carb options. Buy what foods your family enjoy and will eat. Don’t spend money and stock up on food that no one will eat. Don’t pour off the water the vegetables are canned in. It can be used in place of drinking water in the food prep.

Look for fruit packed in water, check the label and buy the lowest carb variety you can find. Mandarin oranges are relatively carb friendly. Remember your children and stock up on canned fruit for them. Dried fruit and raisins are excellent kid choices. Dried or dehydrated fruit or fruit leather will keep well for long periods of time. Invest in low-carb crackers for the canned meats, nut butters and soup you’ll have on hand.

If you have small children or infants, don’t forget the baby food and formula and bottled baby juice. Buy canned formula that doesn’t require added water. Powdered baby food that you mix with water and only prepare the amount you need for one feeding is excellent if the power is off and refrigeration is a problem.

For adults, canned V-8 juice or tomato juice is relatively low-carb. Again, if you have children stock up on canned juice that is sugar free or very low in sugar content, or boxed juice. Unsweetened canned coconut milk is very low-carb. Stock powdered milk and sugar-free powdered juice mix but store extra water for items such as this. Canned evaporated milk can be used in cooking or for drinking.

Dry soup mixes will keep well for long periods. Canned broth is a good low-carb choice – look for low-sodium beef, chicken or vegetable. Add a few spoons of tomato juice for body and sip a cup of this before a meal. It will fill you up and you won’t need to eat as much. Canned cream soups often have low carb counts but be sure and read labels.

Dried eggs, bouillon cubes or granules, sugar-free instant cocoa, cider, instant coffee, instant tea, tea bags, sugar free hard candy, sugar free pudding packs, sugar free jell-o, salsa (will make dried eggs palatable) low-carb energy bars, low-carb candy and canned low-carb shakes are good food storage choices. Don’t forget the salt and pepper or the manual can opener! You need a way to open all of those cans!

You can store trail-mix for the kids and make your own low-carb versions that contain nuts, seeds and unsweetened coconut. If you have sugar-free jell-o mix on hand but no refrigerator, use half of the water called for in the directions and the jell-o will set up without refrigeration.

You should also have vitamins for every family member. Children do not store vitamins like an adult does, and the vitamin stores in their body can become depleted very quickly. Under stressful conditions, an adult body will deplete vitamin stores much more quickly than normal.

You need to plan on storing at least three days worth of food for each family member. The food you select should be non-perishable and require no refrigeration and very little water during food prep. Only prepare the amount of food you can eat during one meal. There may not be a heat source for cooking – cans of sterno work well for this but keep in mind that you should store food that can be eaten cold as well as hot.

The food you buy for storage should be kept in a cool, dark place away from temperature extremes. Buy large trash cans with tight fitting lids and keep your supplies safe from bugs, critters and rain water. Large storage containers, as long as they are waterproof, will serve you well.

Keep an eye on your food stores and don’t simply buy the food and forget about it. As you store the food, label it with the date and rotate the food in and out. If it has been stored for what seems like too long, add the stores to your pantry and replace with fresh supplies.

Write out your food storage plan and follow through with it. Make a list for each member of the family and buy and store what each person will need. When an emergency hits, you’ll be ready.

Don’t Wait For The Middle Finger

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Photo by Life Of Pix on Pexels.com

Young ones (well, anyone younger than me, aka 50 and younger), please don’t be like me.

I treated my body like it was immortal: nothing I did or didn’t do would have a lasting effect. Despite the little things (which just kept building up) I felt when I turned 30 years old, I kept right on rolling, downing that Crunch Berry cereal while doing virtually no physical activity. The scale didn’t matter, how my body felt didn’t matter, all I cared about was what goody I was going to put in my mouth next to drown out my emotions. I told myself I didn’t care what anyone else thought and I didn’t. The problem was, I just didn’t care, period.

I only looked in the mirror with “tunnel vision”, seeing only my face to put on tons of makeup (to cover up my blotchy skin and apply contour to my double chin) and fix my highly damaged hair but never looking at my body. I cannot remember ever looking at my body just out of the shower.

The year I turned 42 years old, after YEARS of warning signs, was the year my body stuck up its middle finger at me and said, “I’m done”. Thankfully, I have never had high blood pressure or high cholesterol but I became allergic to just about everything, I got sick if anyone looked at me funny, and I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Through diet and exercise over the past 8 years, I have reduced my A1C from 9.0 to 5.7 (my first ever fasting blood sugar was 400). I am very proud to officially no longer have type 2 diabetes and did it on my own.

Unfortunately, there is only so much proper (for me) diet and exercise can do after 42 years of neglect and abuse. Here is a partial list of the issues I am dealing with:

  • Allergy shots for the next 5 years
  • Gallbladder removal 7 months ago
  • Severe intestinal issues that were not resolved by removing the gallbladder. I am still undergoing testing to figure out what is causing this (upper endoscopy, MRI, so much blood work the technician knows me by name). Next will probably be scheduled for a colonoscopy (if none of the current tests reveal anything).
  • Just had a TIA (mini-stroke) in my eye last week. There was no permanent damage but this means more tests (went to the lab two days in a row this week and have 2 MRI scans next week), more doctors (in addition to my allergist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, primary care, and gastroenterologist, I have an appointment with a neurologist and am waiting for a referral to a cardiologist) AND I had to stop exercising because that TIA could possibly lead to a full-blown stroke (can you say stress?).

To be brutally honest, I have no idea how much of what is still wrong with me could have been avoided if I had cared about myself earlier in life but now, I will never know. All I can do is hang on, say a few prayers, and do whatever I can to get through this so I can (once again) start over on my fitness journey. As soon as I am given some sort of clearance, I am hitting the weights and my neglected exercise bike (there will also be some digging in the yard going on, too, since I was not able to finish planting before this all happened).

So, you young whipper snappers, please. Take a good, hard look at your lifestyle. Take into account that you will not be in your 20’s forever. Our bodies age, whether we want them to or not. How old do you want to feel when you are 30, 40, or 50? Do you want to be able to do whatever you enjoy or would you prefer to get out of breath walking to the mail box? Do what is best (not easiest) for your health now so you do not end up like me.

My View About Atkins Products

I know I have been highly critical about Atkins Nutritionals over the years (especially once I realized what Dr. Atkins original vision was). Dr. Atkins stressed whole, real food and for them to push meal replacement bars and shakes really irritates me. That being said, I have eaten and enjoyed their bars in the past and, if you feel the need, you should too!

Those bars kept me sane. They kept me on track. Those Atkins bars gave me something I was happy eating, when what I really wanted was a giant Snickers. I began with the free bars they sent to me. Then, I bought them by the box. I would eat one a day (more or less). After a while (maybe a couple of months), one box would last me well over a month. That is when I stopped buying them. I just didn’t want them any more. This, as a lifeline in the beginning of any weight-loss journey, is where I think any of Atkins’ ready-to-eat items should be: a temporary solution until cravings have subsided. I have never (and probably never will) tried their shakes or other snacks/meal replacement bars.

There are a lot of other, less expensive (and higher quality) options out there. Just take a look wherever they sell protein bars. Read the labels (especially total carbohydrates). Look at the ingredients. I know a lot of people who have never looked in that aisle of the store who are shocked by the variety that is out there. Just think about all those people around the globe who have been in the fitness/body building industry for decades! They have researched and come up with items that are typically high in protein, while being low in fat and carbohydrates (that doesn’t taste like you are chewing on a vitamin).

Just today, I experienced my 4th low blood sugar day since having to switch around my diet. So, while at the drug store, I grabbed a Powerbar Protein Plus bar (chocolate peanut butter). It has 25 grams of total carbs and 4 grams fiber (perfect since I have to limit my fiber). Comparing this with Atkins version, which has 23 grams of total carbohydrates and 14 grams of fiber, the Powerbar is much bigger and more filling. It evened out my blood sugar until I could finish shopping and, if I recall correctly, tastes about the same as the Atkins version but didn’t leave me still wanting more. I also checked out my Costco’s selection of protein bars and the Kirkland brand bars are reasonable on carbohydrates (17 and 16 total grams).

 

As for shakes, if you choose to use them, take a look at the various protein powders that are available (that are not Atkins branded). I am finishing up a container of MusclePharm Cookies and Cream protein powder now and just bought ON Gold Standard Chocolate (both from Costco). They are protein powders … these will not cause massive digestive side effects like most “diet” ones do and taste great while still being lower in sugars. I just paid $40 for 50 servings! Try buying any of the diet shakes (like Atkins or Slimfast) at that price! My Costco only carries one flavor but go to this link and check out the other flavors they offer. I wish Costco carried Banana Cream or Strawberry!

Atkins’ frozen meals were highly disappointing. The price was too high for such a small amount of food that was just edible. If you are willing to read labels, you need to look at the other options that are in the freezer aisle. Not everything is breaded or covered with gravy anymore.

The points I am making are:

  1. Just because a product is labeled “Atkins” does not make it either good or unique. Look around and you will be astounded by the options that are out there;
  2. Do not listen to those who may belittle a product simply because the ingredients are not whole foods, 100% natural, organic, paleo, sourced from the jungles of the Amazon by angels riding on the backs of unicorns. You do whatever you need to do to keep yourself sane and on track to become as healthy as possible!

One Week of Whining (and South Beach Ginger Chicken)

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Over the course of the last week, I have been such a whiner! I have been desperately searching for ideas about how to reduce my fat intake without having to buy a ton of new food. So, I have begun diligently tracking my foods again on My Fitness Pal. I then remembered bodybuilders typically eat lower fat, so I am eating a modified “bro” diet but with flavor (lowering my fats, raising my non-meat proteins while keeping my fiber really low). The idea of plain baked chicken breast or fish made me cry BUT I just discovered that Costco sells egg whites!

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One of the books I have been holding onto (my sister is a pathological book buyer and gives me some when she purges her inventory) is the South Beach diet. I never got a chance to even open it before last week but I am glad I did! This recipe is amazing! This would be wonderful with just any meat (I have been fantasizing about this with shrimp)!

South Beach Ginger and Garlic Chicken Breasts

I doubled the recipe, poured everything into a baking dish, and baked it at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. The chicken was so moist and tender! If you need more fat, you can add a little bit of olive oil to the basic marinade before cooking. The resulting juices were fantastic as a sauce!

I have also bought a few new things to help me get into shape while we try to figure out what is going on with my gut:

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This recumbent exercise bike is amazing! After the first use, I did have to put a cushion on the seat due to my bum falling asleep but I have used it every day since I got it without irritating my stomach. It’s a Marcy ME 709.

 

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AND a new scale that has the geek in me squealing with delight!

So, this screen shot is the closest thing to porn you will get from me! Take note that I am currently 49 years old but the results show that metabolically I am 53. I am doing what I can right now to change that but will do so much more once we figure out what the heck is wrong with me!

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That’s it for this update! Please, try that South Beach chicken recipe! You will not regret it! Have a great week!

“Spam” and Eggs … Help!

Well, it looks like my gallbladder was just one part of my health issue. Since having it removed in October, I started feeling a little better, then slowly went downhill. All my organs look good (especially the surgical area), so last week I had my first audition for a porn movie (Upper Endoscopy). There wasn’t anything dire but they did see several inflamed areas. I am currently waiting for the biopsy results (they took several) and waiting for my insurance to approve a scan to make sure there aren’t any rogue gallstones floating around anywhere.

In the mean time, I have been instructed to change my eating to low fat, little to no fiber, nothing hot/spicy (especially black pepper) and no large solid chunks of meat that will be more difficult to digest. EVERYTHING in my house is high fat! Last week, I was whining and crying because I have no idea how to even cook low fat (and no solid meat)!

So, now that I have calmed down, I wanted to show you my way of getting at least some meat in my belly for breakfast:

This is 2 eggs, half a cup of baked on a rack so it is lower fat DRY ham, and just a bit of half and half blended and cooked in a non-stick skillet sprayed with PAM. It’s actually tasty and surprisingly filling but I need help!

Does anyone have any ideas/recipes that I might be able to tweak that aren’t all scrambled eggs? I could boil meats to remove more fat but then what? My intestines HAVE been happier/less fetal-position painful but I need ideas! All I have in my house is meat and full-fat everything else. Please help me!

Oven Roasted Tri-tip

One dark and stormy night (a relief in Central California) we really didn’t want to barbecue in the rain (and we were low on charcoal). So, my husband made a tri tip roast in the oven. If you aren’t accustomed to this cut, here’s the Wiki about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-tip.

How we (my husband as I watched and took pictures) made it:

Oven Roasted Tri-tip Roast

Ingredients:

  • 1 beef tri tip roast
  • Your choice of seasonings

Season your roast (we have been using McCormick Montreal Steak seasoning lately).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Place a heavy skillet (we love our cast iron) on the stove and heat on high. Once the skillet is hot, add about a teaspoon of oil to the pan (or spray with Pam). Place the roast in the pan and sear it for about 4 minutes (as you can see from the photos, it wasn’t that brown this time and turned out better than ever). Flip it over and sear the other side.

Now, place the skillet in the oven (do not cover) and let cook until you are happy with the doneness. Here’s a great webpage about proper doneness of beef: https://www.certifiedangusbeef.com/kitchen/doneness.php. The basic rule of thumb is 10 minutes per pound. We baked ours for almost 20 minutes and removed the tri tip from the oven when the thermometer read 135 degree F. While resting (we let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting) it reached 140 degrees F.

That’s it! To serve, either slice it thick (against the grain) like a steak or thin (think roast beef). My favorite way to eat it is with some cheese and avocado (OH! Maybe some horseradish sauce, too!). Tri tip is great leftover, too! Either dice it and add to scrambled eggs, pan-fry and serve with fried eggs, or just grab a piece and munch away!

Here’s some pictures (unless you do not like this setup, I think I will post any recipes I/we create before any pictures because I HATE having to scroll a mile just to read a recipe).

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Browning in cast iron skillet

 

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Our meat thermometer from Home Depot
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Resting
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Medium Rare (almost medium) 140 degree internal temperature

Keto, Atkins, and now Carnivore? Sigh.

Watch out for health buzzwords.

I really hate fads. Atkins was the first. Then Caveman (which morphed into Paleo). Keto is just starting to be a bit more recognized but now I am beginning to see the Carnivore diet. Now that I am sitting here, writing and researching my own book (basically, a simplified companion book to the original “Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution”), I keep running into all these faddish buzzwords that cause me to jerk my fingers from the keyboard before I make a total ass of myself.

I have never (and will never) go on a fat fast (eating nothing but fat) or an egg fast (eating nothing but eggs) or a soup fast (diet? I have no idea what the buzzword associated with this one is) simply to lose weight. If this is what I need to do to lose weight, I might as well buy some Dexatrim and live off of Slimfast shakes (that way, all my hair can fall out like my mom’s did when that is what she resorted to for quick weight-loss).

Fad diets have been around for quite a while (I used to have a women’s style book from the 1920’s that included a “Hollywood Diet” that somehow left out the illicit drugs they were doing in Hollywood at the time). When I first hear about Dr. Atkins’ “Eat Nothing But Bacon And Lose Weight” diet, I viewed it as just another fad. This is why I refused to read any of Dr. Atkins’ books (until I had to).

Now that I have read the books, I am glad I was wrong. What Dr. Atkins did was brought the clinical ketogenic diet (which was designed in 1923 for treating epileptic patients) into the mainstream by eliminating most of the counting (he focused solely on carbohydrates) and, since most of the public would balk at remaining on such a low carbohydrate diet, revealed a pathway back to a somewhat “normal” way of eating.

If you do not know what a clinical ketogenic diet looks like, check out this page: https://charliefoundation.org/diet-plans/ (which has 5 variations of a ketogenic diet) or watch this short video from Charlie Foundation:

And now, there is Carnivore. What is it? Meat, eggs, butter, and cheese. Doesn’t this sound similar to the clinical ketogenic diet? All they did was remove virtually all carbohydrates (I say virtually because the softer the cheese, the more milk sugars, thus carbohydrates, it has).

It’s almost all branding (or re-branding) to sell books, lectures, courses, or products. So, which of these is the best? That is up to you. If you want to limit your food variety and never count, look into the Carnivore diet. If you don’t mind counting a little, then the original Atkins is for you. If you like to micromanage every bit of food you consume, then Keto is the way to go! Just please, do not go on the Cabbage soup diet!

Product Review: Real Good “The Supreme” Pizza

Real Good Personal Pizza

So, I have been seeing these everywhere (and even have a few friends who have tried these and liked them). I had a rebate coupon and, since I had to go to Walmart (broke my neighbor’s coffee pot while trying to clean it), I bought one. This is what I bought: Real Good “The Supreme” Personal pizza. I have never made a chicken pizza crust so I thought this would be the best way to test it out.

First, at Walmart, the price for this tiny pizza was $5.95. That is quite a bit of money for me to pay for something that can be considered a light lunch (and I was really happy I was going to get a $2 rebate).

Second, I baked this in the oven, on parchment paper (I don’t particularly like the taste of cardboard). This is what happened (it’s not the first time I have made ugly food):

Now, onto the flavor: the sauce. Remember back when frozen pizzas had the worst heartburn-inducing tomato-based sauce? Yeah, that’s what this had. I took one nibble of the melted cheese and knew there was no way for me to eat the entire pizza without paying for it all day.

So, onto the crust (since that was really why I bought this). I cut a bit and took a bite with all the toppings on there. The texture wasn’t bad and it definitely tastes like chicken but between the crust and all the toppings, it was way too salty for me. I then cut another bit off and scraped off the toppings. I don’t want to be rude but that “chicken breast” crust has to be mechanically separated meat. It tastes like a slab of ground, pressed cheap lunch meat (but it obviously is not cheap). It reminded me of the “turkey” in Swanson’s frozen Turkey dinners I had as a kid.

That crust has tainted my views of all their products. Not only will I never buy any of their pizzas again but I will never buy any of their other products.

 

Bear Carnitas

Brenda Nolen

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Yes, you read that correctly. My son was gifted with some bear meat, so I volunteered to cook it for him (none of us had tried it). My mind usually goes to Mexican when I think of cooking meat and I was really leaning toward carne asada or colorado but I wanted to be able to taste the meat. So, I settled on this simple already-loved recipe.

Here’s the link (for those who do not know, if I post a recipe, I only post the ingredients. You have to visit the link to read their instructions).

http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/michoacan-style-pork-carnitas/

  • 18 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (skin-on picnic shoulder is a good choice, too), cut into 2-pound chunks
  • 1/2cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2cup salt
  • About 4 gallons lard or vegetable oil
  • If using vegetable oil: 1pound piece of slab bacon, cut it into 6 or 8 pieces

First: I did not have 18 pounds…

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Meeting the Neighbors

Brenda Nolen

We moved on this street almost 15 years ago and, despite speaking to everyone on our street, there was one set of neighbors I had never met. It wasn’t that I was scared. On the contrary, they are the most peaceful neighbors I could hope to have!

So, 2 1/2 weeks post gallbladder surgery, I waited until my husband left for work (so he couldn’t say no or worry about my safety too much), donned my urban camouflage (I did so good looking like a tweaker bum that when I got back my neighbor said he’d almost grabbed his gun when I walked by his house), and headed out.  It turns out that between 7 am and 8 am is a great time to walk our neighborhood! The hookers have already gone home and the tweakers haven’t emerged yet!

Welcome to my neighbors’ house: San Joaquin Catholic Cemetery!

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Good Post Surgery Monday!

Brenda Nolen

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Well, I had my gallbladder removed on Thursday and not only is today hubby’s first day back to work but this is my first morning without feeling the need to take any pain pills! I am pretty sure I was a bit paranoid I wouldn’t wake up with the alarm, since I was bright eyed 2 hours before the alarm went off! I am thinking a nap may be in order later today, since I am not sure how “occupied” I can be if I cannot lift more than 5 pounds.

I have spent the past month or so preparing for this surgery. With fall threatening to become a reality, I wanted to get as much physical labor finished as I could so I wasn’t fighting weather once I was healed. So, would you like a rundown? I am very happy!

We have been living in this house for almost…

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How the H*ll Did I Gain 2 Pounds Overnight?

Once I began this journey (and finally figured out what food my body did and didn’t like) one of the most frustrating things was magically gaining 2 pounds overnight. It happened so much that, at one point, I stopped weighing myself every day (choosing to only weigh myself once a week). I became obsessed with my daily weight, weighing (and limiting) my food and increasing my daily activity so I would lose those mysterious pounds again. Even though I have now adopted a broader view of my weight (I weigh every day but my focus is typically how I am doing over the course of the week). I never really looked into the why of it all. This year, with my renewed focus on my health, this is what I decided to do.

I have been tracking all of my food in My Fitness Pal since June. I had been using a different app on my phone but thankfully, someone told me how to work the app on my phone. I am loving it even more than before, especially since it has a UPC scanner! I am even able to scan a store-brand food item (from a local store) and it pulled up all the information on it! The idea of having to input (or rely on someone’s sketchy input) always made me tired. If you haven’t used it, try it! Grab that family pack of steaks and scan it with the app. It’s (almost) a miracle!

So, I have been going about my business, losing or gaining a pound, and usually I could attribute it to some specific food item, until two days ago. I had an especially busy day and hadn’t eaten as much as usual but what I did eat was typical. The next day, I had gained 2 pounds. The first thing I did was go over my food. Nope, that couldn’t do it. What about fluids? Nope, I drank my usual amount. I did notice, however, that my breathing was a bit off and I felt a bit “swollen.” That’s when I remembered all the dang reading I had done for so many years: my weight gain was caused by inflammation.

One of the biggest issues that is typically addressed within the low carb/paleo/gluten-free community of experts is how some carbohydrates (it seems to mostly be grains but we all know every body is different) cause inflammation within the body. It is usually that inflammation that wreaks havoc on our bodies, causing all sorts of illnesses/health issues. So, if you ate great all day but decide to eat that burger on a hamburger bun and gain 2 pounds overnight, it’s not simply the gluten or carbohydrates (or corn syrup) that caused that weight gain. It could be the inflammation caused by one (or all) of those properties of the hamburger bun that did it.

Or, if you ate fantastic all day, yet still gained that weight, what happened? After thinking everything over and going through my activities of the day, I figured out my weight gain was due to allergies. I had decided to tear apart the front room because it is that time of year when mice are wanting to come inside and I one had boldly walked through the house into that room. I vacuumed everything, rearranging what I could to make it easier for me to move things to clean (storing my son’s items in this tiny house is a bit of a challenge). Two of the things I am still allergic to are dust mites (check) and mice (check).

If I had been lifting heavy things (like lugging buckets of river rocks from one side of the yard to the other) or actual weight training, I could have gained water weight due to my muscles retaining extra water. The point of this post is, unless you truly ate garbage the day before you “magically” gained weight, it could be any number of things that caused that temporary weight gain. There is no need to beat yourself up, starve yourself, or overdose on water. 9 times out of 10, that weight will be “magically’ gone in a day or two, so just breathe. You are doing great!

 

Doctor Day! My Results Are In!

After 10 years, I am still med free and can officially say I no longer have type 2 diabetes!

A few months back, I went into the doctor weighing 207 with an A1C of 6.9 (normal is 5.6 and below). Keep in mind, I hadn’t been to the doctor in over 5 years and had been eating just about anything I wanted. His instructions were to lose 20 pounds and fix my diet.

So, I pretty much gave up all carbs during the day and ate whatever I wanted for dinner (but stopped eating almost all sweets of any kind, including sugar-free). The first thing I noticed was my desire for food began to lessen. I am now at the point where I may eat a meal and a half to two meals per day. I am just not hungry during the day but I eat something so I don’t get ravenous (and start shoveling any food into my mouth).

Today was my follow-up visit and I managed to lose 17 of the 20 pounds and brought my A1C down to 5.8! Do you see that? I am .2 above normal! It was so funny: he was reading through my blood test results, “kidney function is good, liver function is good, no diabetes … ” and I yelled, “WHAT?” (I think I scared him a little). The rest of the results were perfect. This time, his instructions were to keep doing what I am doing and mostly focus on my weight (I will mostly focus on what I put in my mouth and maybe incorporate some actual exercise if it ever cools off here in Central California).

There is one issue that it turns out I have had since I was 18: gallbladder. I had a CT scan in July and there was a gallstone. He asked about pain, I described the intermittent pain I get, and we came to the conclusion that I have had a messed up gallbladder for 30 years. I have gone to multiple doctors over the years for the pain but they all said there was nothing wrong (even went to the Emergency Room out at County about 15 years ago and after doing no tests, the doctor told me my pain was an ulcer). So, I am waiting for a referral to a surgeon. If I can get this taken care of, I will be even more unstoppable! 🙂

New To Me Book Resource

So, I don’t really do a lot of searching for places to buy books online but today a friend mentioned a website she buys from all the time. I did a quick search and they have the 1972 Dr. Atkins book for a little over $3!

https://www.thriftbooks.com/

Hello!

I’m sure you are wondering who I am, since it has been SO LONG since I posted anything! 🙂 I wanted to let you know I am still around and am currently working on this blog. I added a Contact page (https://atkinsjourney.wordpress.com/contact/) so you can actually send me questions (or make suggestions) AND a basic FAQ (https://atkinsjourney.wordpress.com/faq/) page! I am also changing/adding to/improving my About Me page (https://atkinsjourney.wordpress.com/about/), since it was cold, dull and I hadn’t really read it since I threw it up here.

I was told that, due to my theme, links are not very noticeable, so I will be changing them all to show the URL (so you know it’s a link and not just slightly darker words on the page).

In addition to these changes, I will be posting an update sometime around September 5th. I finally broke down and saw a new doctor (it’s been 5+ years since I left my last doctor’s office in tears and swore I would never walk through his door again). It has been roughly two months since my initial visit and I go in for the follow-up on September 5th. No matter what the results are, I will let you know (just went in for my pre-appointment blood work yesterday).

OH! And my husband is 2 years cancer free! That’s it for now. I hope you are having a wonderful week and remember: my lazy rear-end is most active on Facebook. Here’s the direct link to my page there: https://www.facebook.com/myatkinsjourney/.

It’s Not About The Number On The Scale

This woman’s story it the perfect example for everyone to NOT rely solely on how much you weigh. It isn’t just about your measurements or your clothing size, either. It is a combination of everything, including just how good you feel!

https://some.ly/FRNy7zC

Grilled Turkey Breast and Mushroom Skewers

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1991-06-30/news/9102270644_1_turkey-breast-steaks-sauteed-potatoes-pounds-potatoes

Grilled Turkey Breast With Chive Butter, from Pierre Franey

Yield 4 servings

Ingredients
4 turkey breast steaks, about 1 1/2 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons finely chopped chives

1. Preheat a charcoal grill until quite hot. Coals should be placed close to grill because meat will only be seared.

2. Place each turkey steak between sheets of clear plastic wrap. Pound lightly and evenly with meat pounder to make slices about 1/4-inch thick.

3. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with sage.

4. Heat butter until melted. Add lemon juice, cumin, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and chives. Blend well. Keep warm.

5. Place steaks on grill and cook for about 2 minutes to a side or until done. Do not overcook. Transfer steaks to a serving dish. Pour chive butter over them and serve.

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/grilled-mushroom-skewers.html

Grilled Mushroom Skewers, from Food Network Kitchens

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
36 cremini mushrooms with 2-inch caps, tough stem ends trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Kosher salt

A Polish Meal

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http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kielbasa-with-onions-and-poblanos

Kielbasa with Onions & Poblanos, from The Bon Appetit Test Kitchen

Servings: 4–6

Ingredients
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 poblano chiles or green bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds kielbasa sausages, cut on a diagonal into 4-inch pieces, halved lengthwise
Mustard, sauerkraut, and crusty bread

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http://www.outernetweb.com/recipes/grandma/poultry/chickenliverkebabs.html

Chicken Liver Kebabs – Szaszlyk z Kurzych Watrobek, from Grandma’s Old World Polish Recipes

20 chicken livers
2 cups milk
Sliced bacon, enough for 20 1-inch squares
Sliced small onions, enough for 20 thin slices

Spice Mix:

1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt (optional, though wouldn’t be for me)

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http://www.polishmeals.com/2013/07/213/

Coleslaw – Surówka z Białej Kapusty, from PolishMeals.Com

-1 lb white Cabbage (half medium one)
-Carrot
-Onion
-Garlic clove
-1 tbsp Olive
-1 tsp Dijon Mustard
-2 tbsp Mayo
-2 tbsp Sour Cream (or natural Yogurt)
-1 tbsp Lemon Juice
-Salt & Pepper

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http://www.polskafoods.com/content/cucumber-salad-recipe-mizeria

Cucumber Salad – Mizeria, from PolskaFoods.Com

3 medium cucumbers, pealed and sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 chopped red onion
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sour cream (or Greek Yogurt)
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
LOTS of freshly ground black pepper
(sure, you can add sugar, but try using an authentic Polish recipe with no sugar, its healthier too!)

Grilled Tuna and Soft-Shell Crabs

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-tuna-with-herbed-aioli-108291

Grilled Tuna with Herbed Aïoli, from Bon Appetit, July 2003

YIELD: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise

4 7-ounce tuna steaks (each about 1 inch thick)

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http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-soft-shell-crabs-with-tartar-sauce

Grilled Soft-Shell Crabs with Tartar Sauce, from Steven Raichlen, BBQ USA

SERVINGS: 4

If you want to make sandwiches, then you could try one of the various low carb roll recipes out there but why detract from the flavor of the crab and this fantastic tartar sauce?

TARTAR SAUCE
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon drained capers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped cornichons
1 tablespoon minced pickled jalapeños
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
Salt and freshly ground pepper

CRAB SANDWICHES
Vegetable oil, for the grill
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small shallots, minced
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
4 rolls, split
12 cleaned soft-shell crabs
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Seafood Salads

Let’s see how many of the hundreds of recipes I have stored I can post today! A reminder to those new here: When I post a recipe, I post the ingredients and the link (plus any pictures of the dish I can find). I figure this will give you an idea of whether you even want to make the dish or not. For the instructions, you must click on the links.

http://www.athoughtforfood.net/blog/grilled-bluefish-salad/

Grilled Bluefish (alone):
Serves 4 for dinner

Grilled Bluefish Salad:
Approximately 8-10 people for lunch

Ingredients

For the grilled bluefish
2 – 1 lb bluefish fillets, bones removed
4 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
Curry powder
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds, seeds removed
Soy sauce

For the salad
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon minced flat-leaf parsley
2 grilled lemon slices, minced

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http://www.fishwatch.gov/eating-seafood/recipes?width=720&inline=true#seafood-panzanella-salad

Seafood Panzanella Salad, from Jim Weaver

8 littleneck clams, rinsed of sand
4 large sea scallops, muscle removed
3 ounces calamari (squid) rings
3 ounces monkfish, skinned and cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup large diced tomato
1/2 cup julienned cucumber
1/4 fennel bulb, julienned; reserve a few fronds for garnish
4 basil leaves chiffonade; plus a couple of whole leaves for garnish
1 scallion cut lengthwise into thin slices; reserve the green top for garnish
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper to taste
1 cup water
1 large baguette Maybe serve with sliced cucumber?

“But You Will Look Like A Man!”

Brenda Nolen

Rachel McLish - The first woman I saw with muscles who still looked feminine. Rachel McLish – The first woman I saw with muscles who still looked feminine.

I do not hear this nearly as much as I did when I first looked into lifting weights. I hope it has something to do with people being more enlightened but I’m pretty sure they just don’t want to be accused of gay bashing (or whatever). There are too many people out there who are either trolls who relish in stirring up controversy or the “eternally offended” who actively search for something to protest. Either way, I am tired of them all. And, since I am a female, I am allowed to say a bunch of stuff that will probably be considered sexist (or whichever -ist you may choose to embrace today).

The book I am writing is how embracing 9 virtues will make me a whole, well-rounded human being. While I have the 9 virtues…

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Dr. Atkins’ Steak and Barbecue Sauce (and copies of the Original book)

One quick note about getting copies of Dr. Atkins’ original book: I noticed, when updating my Amazon store (look over there) there are a lot more copies of the book available. I have listed the 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1990 publishing dates. I think up until the 1990 version, they are roughly the same.

Judith, this is the closest thing I could find to a barbecue sauce recipe from my books.

Steak Sauce
11 Tablespoons

1/2 cup Hunt’s Tomato Puree (sauce)
1/4 cup water
5 teaspoons distilled vinegar
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated onion
1/2 teaspoon Maggi Seasoning
20 drops of Tabasco sauce

Blend and refrigerate until serving time.

WAIT! I found it (I think). It was included in a Barbecued Spareribs recipe!

Dr. Atkins Barbecue Sauce

1/4 cup chopped onions
1 Tablespoon bacon drippings
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons tarragon vinegar
1 Tablespoon Lee & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tablespoons brown Sugar Twin
1 cup Hunt’s tomato juice
3 Tablespoons of soy sauce (how funny, the note says this can be purchased in a health food store)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon Gold Seal cocktail sherry (optional)

Saute the onion in bacon drippings until brown, add garlic powder and cook 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 25 minutes.

A Year Today – Cancer and Life

It has been a year today since my husband’s surgery to remove a polyp that turned into a cancer diagnosis. It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. I spend my days alone, while he is at work, yet when he was in the hospital I was like a little child, lonely and weepy, eating everything I could get my hands on, drowning my sorrows in food. It was awful!

Then, when he got home, it was time to play “What can he eat?” It has taken a year for him to be able to eat the fattier cuts of meat without pain or it running right through him. With that year of food uncertainty, I let myself go. It didn’t click how bad it was until I stepped on the scale and it lied to me, telling me I was 201 pounds. I tried it three more times before I realized it was correct. June 3, 2015 (15 days before his surgery) I weighed 176. That was the last time I weighed myself until this month.

I am happy to say that not only is he STILL cancer free but he has decided to begin exercising to build up his strength! So, while we slowly figure out how low carb/keto he can go, I am taking it slow. Very low/possibly keto during the day, then a normal dinner together (which is much better now that there are no children in the house again). And this is my current favorite exercise (which I have already posted on my Facebook page, so sorry about the duplicate):

Kettle Bell Swings

I actually read about them in the “4 Hour Body” by Tim Ferris. I knew what a kettlebell looked like. Heck, I even carried one into the house when my son was moving but I had never looked into exercising with it. So, I stole it from him (well, borrowed it). I began lowering my carbs and exercising March 29th. Day one, I managed to do 20 kettlebell swings. That was it for the week. I was wobbly and sore. The next week, I did 26 swings. This week, I have done 30 on Monday and 48 today. Since March 29th, I have lost a whopping 2 pounds according to the scale but I have lost 10 inches all over my body!!!! My goal is to work up to 3 times per week with as many as I can do while still keeping good form. I can truly feel this all over my body (in a good way) so this is the exercise I am having hubby do. Thanks to the work he currently does, it won’t be too long until we will have to purchase a heavier kettlebell (since his first day he did 50, which was Wednesday … I need to write that down).

This exercise has not aggravated my carpal tunnel (which decided to flare a bit, thanks to writing a book) or a gem of a gangleon cyst that formed at the base of my right middle finger (no, I didn’t get it from overuse) OR my still-slightly-tweaky shoulder. I am hoping to take almost-before pictures tomorrow (kinda hard when I am alone). Not sure if I will post those or hold onto them to include with “progress” pictures.

I do have an entire folder of recipes to go through and share here (313 at last count) but if you want to see anything more immediate, please join me on Facebook. It’s so much easier to share there (https://www.facebook.com/myatkinsjourney/).

Keto “Apple” Cheesecake Danish

Not sure about the squash but everything else … when you just need a little something. OH! Maybe a few blueberries instead!

The Primitive Palate

KetoAppleCheesecakeDanish

I’ve had a lot of readers tell me they wanted a recipe for a oopsie-roll danish, so here we are! Fluffy oopsie batter, creamy cheese cake filling, toasted pecans and baked cinnamon yellow squash!

Wait…WHAT?

Yep, you read correctly. Yellow squash. In fact, you could use zucchini as well!

A  neighbor of mine was giving away of a bag of fresh, home-grown squash today! How could I pass that up? I have actually been wanting to try this recipe for some time now, I just didn’t know exactly how I wanted to make it. One cup of summer squash has about 3 carbs…compared to apples at 13 carbs per cup!

DSC_0838DSC_0836

I am so in love with this recipe! What a great way to sneak in veggies to a dessert! You really can’t even tell that it’s not apple!

I played around with adding whey protein to the oopsie…

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The “After” Myth

Can Anybody Hear Me?

DURING

After.

It’s here.

In my first post, Before, 3 years ago, I said “I’m not to After yet, but I’m closer to After than to Before.”

I now weigh 117 – 120 pounds (depending on the day), and standing at 5-foot 6-inches, that measurement means that After is very, very here. But, before you congratulate me, dear readers…if I have any…and dear friends and family who I know follow this blog… I have to come clean with you: I don’t feel like I’m at After. I’m terrified of being at After. And, I don’t like that After is here.

After5 2

The tagline of my blog is “uncovering myself one pound at a time.” For most of this blog, I’ve spoken strongly about how my relationship with food and myself was what caused my weight struggles. I stand by that. The thing is, the symptoms have resolved faster than I’ve been able to…

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2015. So Far

This year has taught me a lot and it’s not even over yet. I have learned that, despite being alone for 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, I do not like being without my husband. I learned that, no matter how long I was physically away from my family, we still truly love each other and can have a wonderful experience through a very dark time. I have also learned that I can eat whatever I want as long as I accept that my body will hate me for it.

In May of this year, my mom was diagnosed with liver cancer. Stress, worry, and the fact that we are a 15 hour drive from my family felt like too much to bear. While my brain kept trying to figure out some magical way to manifest the money to make the trip, I went through bouts of hardly eating anything the entire day to eating everything in sight. Thankfully, my blood sugars did not react adversely to these binges.

A month later, after a colonoscopy, my husband was in an operating room, which was supposed to be a pretty routine surgery (removal of a polyp) but in the course of the surgery, they found carcenoid tumors. He was in the hospital for 4 days and I sat here, crying and binge eating anything I could get my hands on (while extremely thankful we had no sweets in the house). Between June 1st and August 1st, my mom was going through chemotherapy and surgeries while my husband was undergoing surgery, and tests that even the lab technicians had to look up, since they are done so rarely. Around August 1st, my husband got the “all-clear” (his tumors are non=aggressive and they saw no signs of more) but he will have to go in at regular intervals to make sure no more appear.

Unfortunately, my mom was not so lucky. They were finally able to shrink the tumor enough to do surgery and discovered it had not only damaged her liver too much but had spread. On August 18, 2015, one more beautiful star was added to the heavens. She was a beautiful woman who, despite the trials she dealt with throughout her life, always had a smile on her face and love in her heart. Due to our distance, it had been too many years since we had seen each other. With normal life events getting in the way it becomes so easy to say, “I’ll visit next year” (which was our original plan). My husband had not had the chance to meet her and now he will only in the stories we share with him. We drove down there for her memorial service (non-stop, which I really do not recommend if you are not accustomed to driving that distance without sleeping) and I saw not only my immediate family but some of my family from Mexico who I had not seen in 33 years. It is amazing how, despite that many years apart, it was like we had never been separated. We laughed, cried, hugged, and loved together. It truly was beautiful, despite the sadness of our reason for reuniting.

I am still reeling from the emotional roller coaster of this year. I have gone from 176 pounds up to 186 (possibly closer to 190 but I stopped stepping on the scale for a while) and now, am back down to 176 pounds. My body has been extremely angry with me this entire time. As I binged, my lower legs would bloat so bad it hurt to walk. I had extreme intestinal issues and my kidneys actually hurt (all this without blood sugar spikes). When I stopped eating, my blood sugars would eventually dip to dangerous levels, with me becoming so exhausted that it took all my energy to eat anything. Thankfully, those days were rare. I’ve come back from Arizona a little sick. I keep telling everyone I’m just allergic to California but I’m pretty sure it’s the massive amount of smoke in the air. You could see it as a light brown layer all across the valley as you were heading out of the mountains. The first night home, I had to use my inhaler for the first time in about 6 months but thankfully, none of my extraordinary allergies have returned. I am on the mend but the emotional toll this year has taken has me still quite exhausted. I think it’s time for lunch (Del Real Chicken Asado, shredded cheese, sour cream and jalapenos). Thank you all for being here. 🙂

Grilled Flank Steak “Pastrami” – Pastrami-Spiced Beef Flank Steak

Richard Blais’ Beer-Steamed Clams

http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/recipe/17395_Richard_Blais_Beer_Steamed_Clams/

Richard Blais’ Beer-Steamed Clams

INGREDIENTS
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
24 little neck clams
1/2 bottle Amstel light
A drip of maggi (liquid MSG)
3 tablespoons small diced soppresata (optional)
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
A baby handful chopped cilantro
2 tablespoon sliced scallions
Juice of 1/2 lime

Sausage-and-Pepper Skewers

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/sausage-and-pepper-skewers-recipe.html

Sausage-and-Pepper Skewers

Ingredients

1 cup couscous
2 bell peppers (red and yellow), cut into chunks
1 (12-ounce) package chicken sausage (preferably garlic-flavored), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into chunks
1 cup cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
4 scallions, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Marinated Grilled Calamari

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/marinated-grilled-calamari

Marinated Grilled Calamari

Ingredients

2 pounds cleaned calamari (squid), tubes and tentacles separated but whole
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons red chile flakes
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 loaf crusty bread such as ciabatta, cut in half horizontally

Grilled Lamb Meatballs

Leave out the bulgar. If you are worried about the lamb not holding together, either use more meat (my choice) or add a little almond flour.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-lamb-meatballs-350175

Grilled Lamb Meatballs

Ingredients

1 pound ground lamb
2 heaping tablespoons dry bulgur, soaked in 1 cup water until soft (about 30 minutes), then drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, grated and drained
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil

White Asparagus with Black Forest Ham

http://germanfoods.org/recipes/white-asparagus-with-black-forest-ham/

White Asparagus with Black Forest Ham

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh white asparagus

1 large ripe avocado

1/2 cup Basic Oil and Vinegar Dressing (see recipe below)

4 ripe round or plum tomatoes, skinned

4 large fresh Basil leaves, shredded

8 wafer-thin slices German imported Black Forest ham

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Basic Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing:

Ingredients:

4 ounces rapeseed or vegetable oil

4 ounces olive oil

4 ounces German white wine or German apple

vinegar or half of each

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon German mustard

1 teaspoon German honey (optional)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Badische Schaeufele (Pork Shoulders)

http://germanfoods.org/recipes/badische-schauefele-pork-shoulders/

Badische Schaeufele (Pork Shoulders)

Ingredients:

1 ¾ lb smoked pork shoulder
1 medium yellow onion
6 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
6 juniper berries (crushed)
2 1/8 cups dry red wine
6 1/3 cups cold water
2 lemon slices
1 lb carrots, leeks, and celery
1 tbsp white peppercorns

Baked Lasagnette with Shrimp, Swiss Chard, and Ricotta

Why mess up a fantastic dish by adding pasta to it? Look at these ingredients. You don’t need the pasta (or pasta substitute) at all! Just leave it out and have a fantastic lunch or dinner!

http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/recipes/display/bycategory.php/recipe_id/457/id/27/

Baked Lasagnette with Shrimp, Swiss Chard, and Ricotta

3/4 pound lasagnette
1 3/4 pound Swiss chard, heavy stems removed, washed, cut into strips
5 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, shelled
3/4 pound fresh ricotta cheese

Forelle mit Sauerampfersosse (Trout in Sorrel Sauce)

http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/forelle-mit-sauerampfersosse-trout-in-sorrel-sauce

Forelle mit Sauerampfersosse (Trout in Sorrel Sauce)

Ingredients
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 (1-lb.) trout, cleaned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups minced sorrel, or another tender herb such as savory or parsley
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup minced parsley

Grill-Roasted Rainbow Trout with Cilantro-Horseradish Aioli and Zucchini Mash

http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/grill-roasted-rainbow-trout-with-cilantro-horseradish-aioli-and-zucchini-mash/

Grill-Roasted Rainbow Trout with Cilantro-Horseradish Aioli and Zucchini Mash

Ingredients

Rainbow Trout
1 cup hickory chips soaked in 1 cup wine for 30 minutes
8 rainbow trout, preferably butterflied (8 ounces each)
Salt
Black pepper, preferably fresh ground
4 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 fennel bulb, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 large tomatoes, each cut into eight pieces
1 jalapeno, halved and thinly sliced
1 lemon, sliced in rounds, 1/2–inch thick
1 cup white wine

Zucchini Mash
5 medium (2 1/2 pounds total) Mexican calabacitas (AKA tatume) or small zucchini
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

Cilantro-Horseradish Aioli
2 teaspoons (loosely packed) chopped fresh cilantro (thick stems cut off), plus extra cilantro leaves for garnish
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup good-quality olive oil

Chillied Peanuts and Pumpkin Seeds

http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/chillied-peanuts-and-pumpkin-seeds/

Chillied Peanuts and Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

2 cups roasted peanuts (preferably without salt)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons ancho (or guajillo) chile powder (available from national companies like McCormick, Mexican groceries and internet sites), plus a little arbol chile powder if you like it spicy
Salt
1 cup pepitas seeds (pumpkinseeds) hulled

Barbazza con Sagrantino & Salvia

http://www.italianfoodforever.com/2013/07/barbazza-con-sagrantino-salvia/

Barbazza con Sagrantino & Salvia

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
20 Strips Pancetta
3/4 Cup Dry Red Wine
10 Large Fresh Sage Leaves

Brasato in Bianco

http://www.italianfoodforever.com/2008/10/brasato-in-bianco/

Brasato in Bianco

Ingredients:

2 to 2 1/2 Pounds Meat Of Choice Cut Into Bite Sized Pieces ~ See Note Above (I used A Veal Steak Cut Into 2 Inch Pieces, And A Slab Of Pork Ribs With The Ribs Cut Individually)
1 Carrot, Peeled And Diced
1 Celery Stalk, Diced
1 Small Onion, Peeled And Diced
3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cups Dry White Wine
2 Cups Hot Homemade Chicken Broth (Plus Additional If Needed)
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Thyme
Sea Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
To Serve:
Chopped Fresh Parsley

Get Keto Quick … I Mean Get Rich Quick Schemes

I just received a message from someone on Facebook about a fantastic line of products that will get you into a state of ketosis in 3 hours.  From the little I read, you drink two of their drinks (two separate products), eat their “special treat”, then subsidize the rest of your calories with meat and veg.

O.k.?  Well, if any of you have read any of my blog (at all), you can receive the same results in just a little more time for the one time low, low price of … FOOD!  No gimmicks, no special drinks, no special bars to buy.  Just buy some meat and there you go!

I will not tell you the name of the product (or the name of the person who sent me the message) but just do me a favor, everyone.  Remember these words: There are no quick fixes for better health.  It doesn’t matter which eating plan you decide to embrace.  It took us quite a while to ravage our bodies.  For me, it took 42 years to put my body into shut-down mode but it only took 12 months to recover (see that?  Not another 42 years or even 42 months … only 12).

If you truly feel the need to embrace some quick fix fad, go ahead.  I will still be here when you get back, posting recipes and occasionally being a human and posting words I type.

Tuna Tataki

http://www.wolfgangpuck.com/recipes/appetizers/Tuna-Tataki-or-Sashimi-with-Ginger-Soy-Lime-Vinaigrette

Tuna Tataki

Ingredients

1/2 cup minced ginger
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1/2 pound very fresh, sushi-grade ahi tuna
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons peanut oil, for searing
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 medium-size, ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, quartered and sliced
2 cups mixed greens
12 thin slices red onion
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
Ginger Sauce, recipe follows

Ginger Sauce:
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil

Grilled Pork Chops with Garlic Lime Sauce

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-pork-chops-with-garlic-lime-sauce-238938

Grilled Pork Chops with Garlic Lime Sauce

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
6 (1/2-inch-thick) boneless pork chops

Casserole-Roasted Rabbit with Herbs

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/casserole-roasted-rabbit-with-herbs

Casserole-Roasted Rabbit with Herbs

Two 3 1/2 -pound rabbits
4 thyme sprigs
2 marjoram sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
2 sage sprigs
2 bay leaves
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons water

Roasted Guinea Hens with Whole-Grain Mustard and Herbs

Roasted Guinea Hens with Whole-Grain Mustard and Herbs

Ingredients
8 garlic cloves, each halved lengthwise and germ removed if green
1 lb fingerling potatoes or small boiling potatoes
1 bay leaf (not California)
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
2 (2 1/2-lb) guinea hens or 2 (2 1/2- to 3-lb) free-range chickens
4 large sprigs fresh thyme, leaves and stems separated
4 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves and stems separated
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems separated
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium shallots (1/2 lb), lobes separated if necessary
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Grilled Lemon-Parsley Veal Chops

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-lemon-parsley-veal-chops-108450

Grilled Lemon-Parsley Veal Chops

Veal

1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
6 8- to 10-ounce loin or rib veal chops, each about 1 inch thick

Topping

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Skagenrore

Who needs bread?  A bowl and fork will do (or, I guess you could serve this with lettuce)!

https://arcticgrub.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/sankthansaften-norways-summer-solstice/

SKAGENRØRE

1 lbs cooked shrimp (small)

1/2 pound crayfish (or crab)

1 1/2 cups sour cream

3 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsp chives, chopped fine

3 tbsp dill, chopped fine

1/2 small red onion, diced fine

2 eggs, hard boiled and chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños

 

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-stuffed-jalapenos

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños

2 center-cut bacon slices
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (about 1/2 cup)
4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened (about 1/2 cup)
1 ounce extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
14 jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped seeded tomato

Trout Filets with Hot Buttered Champagne Sauce

index

http://gildedfork.com/trout-filets-with-hot-buttered-champagne-sauce/

Be sure to leave out any sugar (not sure why they would call for sugar in the vegetables).

Trout Filets with Hot Buttered Champagne Sauce

Ingredients

For the Champagne sauce:
4 shallots, minced
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup Champagne
1 cup unsalted chilled butter, cut in pieces
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

For the vegetables:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups fresh, cleaned vegetables (broccoli, carrots, baby potatoes, etc.), chopped
½ cup Champagne
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon sugar

For the fish:
1 pound trout or salmon filets
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste