Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I had an interview with Jimmy Moore this morning! He is a really nice guy to talk to and he had some kind remarks about the interview afterward, such as, "GOOD JOB and AWESOME". I was grateful because I haven't done this sort of thing in a long time. I've basically been retired from writing cookbooks for 7 years, but I've been in the cookbook business for 18 years. Now my cookbooks are dwindling in number and I'm toying with the idea of an 8th cookbook (6th low-carb one). The podcast will be available on Jimmy's Blog November 8th apparently. I will broadcast it here on my blog.
So here we are sitting on a mountain in the jungles of South America talking on Skype. Neat thing Skype. We tried the telephone but for some reason there was some feedback that Jimmy was getting on his side (voice echo or something), so we switched to Skype. Last night Ian dutifully checked to see what 11-00 am EDT was in terms of where we live. What do you know? He got it wrong. So at 10-00 am our time Jimmy phones! Eeek! We had just finished entertaining a nice Canadian gentleman who lives on the mountain here. Oh and I also walked Smiley down to the river and back as I normally do. Honestly, there is a little Canada here on the mountain!
What is interesting is that this man is diabetic and his wife has Celiac disease. I talked a little bit about low-carbing for people with diabetes and also mentioned that my low-carb gluten-free bake mix would be ideal for them. He could make, say, muffins with the bake mix for both of them (he likes to bake) - it would cover low-carb and gluten-free, I said. Trouble is people trust their doctors and the traditional diet for diabetes where fat is vilified and carbohydrate gets off Scot free, so low-carbing sounds foreign and wrong. Then add to that that I mention the specialty products used in the gluten-free bake mix and I look like I have 2 heads or something. (smile) That's why I don't often open my mouth about low-carbing unless asked, or put it this way, I usually don't go into details after saying something, unless asked, but I guess I was on top form today. People need to show an interest otherwise it can be a bit of a thankless task. Diet, health and food, etc. is a very personal thing and people don't usually want advice on that score.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Helpful Hints: Don't try placing this crust on greased tin foil - it sticks!
Friday, August 20, 2010
Low-Carb and Loving It!
The Shirataki Noodle
If you are on a low-carb diet and love pasta, you may as well staple your mouth shut, until now. America has finally discovered the Shirataki noodle, an Asian plant root that contains tons of fiber and almost no “bad” carbs. Not only are they helpful in losing weight for us pasta lovers, but there are other health benefits to this miracle pasta such as evidence that the ingredients can assist in blood sugar control.
So How Do They Taste?
Although Shirataki noodles can be a little rubbery, boiling helps with reducing this. They are packaged in liquid and it is recommended that they be strained before boiling since the liquid has a unique, yet subtle taste. These noodles have been described as not having a particular taste of their own causing them to take on the flavor of anything they are cooked in.
Where to Find the Shirataki Noodle
Most Asian grocery stores carry this noodle as well as places such as Whole Foods and specialty markets, some larger grocery store chains also carry Shirataki noodles. Cost averages at around two to three bucks a bag. So pull out the parm and get the marinara ready, pasta has the green light again!
Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is a passionate blogger on the topic of education and free college scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
P.S. Alexis, some of us who are not strictly low-carbing enjoy Dreamfields low-carb pasta on occasion. It tastes like the real thing. However, for those strictly low-carbing, Shirataki noodles sounds like a nice alternative, although I've never tried them.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
CHOCOLATE-DIPPED COCONUT BARS
If chocolate is not enough to dip all bars, drizzle chocolate over remaining bars. Alternately, make double batch of dipping chocolate; stir nuts into remaining chocolate and freeze on small, flat baking sheet.
13/4 cups unsweetened coconut (425 mL)
1/2 cup whipping cream (125 mL)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup SPLENDA® Granular (150 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
11/2 cups SPLENDA® Granular (375 mL)
6 tbsp skim milk powder, OR (90 mL)
whole milk powder
41/2 tbsp whipping cream (68 mL)
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (45 mL)
11/2 tbsp water (22 mL)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract (3 mL)
11/2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (45 g)
In food processor food mill or blender, grind 1/4 cup (50 mL) of measured coconut finely. In medium saucepan, place ground coconut, whipping cream and gelatin. Stir and remove from heat as mixture thickens and just starts to boil. Add SPLENDA® Granular and vanilla extract. Stir in remaining coconut. Press firmly into 8-inch (20 cm) square glass baking dish and smooth with back of dessert spoon. Freeze 20 minutes. Cut into 7 bars and cut horizontally through center. Dip bars in Dipping Chocolate below and place on wax paper on cookie sheet. Freeze until chocolate is no longer sticky. Refrigerate.
Dipping Chocolate: In blender or food mill (food processor attachment), blend SPLENDA® Granular and skim milk powder (no blending required with whole milk powdered option) until fine. In medium bowl, combine blended mixture, whipping cream, butter, water and vanilla extract. Stir with wire whisk.
In another cereal bowl, microwave chocolate 2 minutes or until almost completely melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Use soft spatula to scrape all chocolate out of bowl and stir into creamy mixture with wire whisk. If chocolate cools, warm at 10 second intervals in microwave oven, being careful not to overheat.
CHOCOLATE-GLAZED PROTEIN BARS
These firm, chewy bars taste wonderful. The Black Forest Bar is the best!
1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (30 g)
2 tbsp butter (25 mL)
2 tbsp whipping cream (25 mL)
2 tbsp Da Vinci® Sugar Free (25 mL)
2 tbsp SPLENDA® Granular, (25 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
3/4 cup Chocolate Whey Protein (175 mL)
(sweetened with sucralose, if possible)
3/4 cup blanched whole almonds, chopped (175 mL)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (125 mL)
4 SPLENDA® packets
1 tbsp unsalted butter (15 mL)
1 tbsp whipping cream (15 mL)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (1 mL)
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular (125 mL)
1/2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, (15 g)
Melt chocolate and butter in microwave oven 2 minutes. Stir in cream, Da Vinci® Sugar Free Chocolate syrup, SPLENDA® Granular (if using) and vanilla extract until smooth. Add Chocolate Whey Protein, almonds, coconut and SPLENDA® packets. Combine very well and press into 9 x 5 x 3-inch (2L) loaf pan.
Chocolate Glaze: In cereal bowl, melt butter in microwave oven. Stir in cream, vanilla extract and SPLENDA® Granular until smooth. Stir in chocolate. If necessary, microwave 10 seconds until molten. Spread over surface of mixture in loaf pan. Chill until firm. Cut into 9 bars.
Variation: Black Forest Protein Bar: Add 10 pitted cherries, finely chopped. Use 1/2 cup (125 mL) whole almonds, chopped. Add an extra 2 tbsp (25 mL) Chocolate Whey Protein Powder. Omit Da Vinci® Sugar Free Chocolate syrup. For extra moist bars, leave the syrup in the recipe. (5.5 g Carbs)
Running! People who run often have slender figures and can maintain those great figures with their running. I have seen this time and again. Kent Altena is one of those people. Sugarless4life is another (she is on lowcarbfriends.com). I cannot be a runner. I am too top heavy for that and my knees would not take it either. I used to do a lot of ballet and unfortunately my knees can be a bit iffy sometimes, so I'm careful with certain exercises.
My eldest son is another example of a runner. He says he probably burns around 800 calories with his running in a day and would be hard pressed to eat that much extra over and above his allotted calorie allowance which is high to begin with as he is 6 foot tall. Anyway truth is Daniel is skinny and running helps him stay that way he says.
So there you have it. Significant running does certainly help many people lose weight and keep it off.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Seriously - why bother? The reason many people exercise is to help with weight loss. We've been programmed for the longest time to believe that weight loss and exercise go hand in hand. I remember when I was a young girl, I enjoyed swimming in the town public pool where I took swimming lessons. Typically those lessons occurred in the latter part of the afternoon. The water was somewhat cool and it was cool outside. I found after every swimming lesson I ate way more than I did on a non-swimming day. I remember that fact to this day. Only now do I understand that exercise quite often stimulates appetite. The problem is although we burn calories when we exercise and we must in order to lose weight, exercise often stimulates ravenous hunger. This negates almost all our efforts to lose weight via exercise. People spend as much money sometimes going to a gym or dance classes or whatever as what they spend on groceries. However, are they losing weight? Oftentimes not.
Does this mean we should not bother with exercise? Well consider this:
People who regularly exercise are at significantly lower risk for all kinds of diseases, such as heart disease, especially. They are less likely to develop cancer, diabetes and many other illnesses, because the immune system is stimulated and stays healthy and the cells of the body are more sensitive to the action of insulin. Even simple walking - like 30 minutes a day is beneficial. Having a dog really helps with that!
From a pure vanity standpoint: Exercise helps tone and strengthen muscles, giving definition to the body. Flabby bodies are less attractive than toned ones (even if one is overweight) and take up more space in clothes anyway. Have you ever heard of the term "skinny fat"? - a person who is skinny but still has too much fat vs muscle. They still don't look too great even although they are skinny.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Some people use the dietary fiber product for weight loss - about 1 gram before each major meal - i.e. up to 3 grams a day. Incidentally, that is waaay too much for me! This product should never be taken in capsule form as it could get stuck in the throat and swell (if you have the capsules - open them up and use in food preparation). Also never have too much of this product as it could cause bowel obstruction. It has been banned in Australia - maybe for a reason?
At any rate this product can be used to thicken smoothies, puddings, cream, etc., however, it also has the tendency to produce a gummy mouth feel if too much is used.
The way it works according to my little brain is that it lowers blood sugar, as well as taking it before meals (about an hour before with plenty of water) creates a feeling of fullness and one eats a lot less. That is it in a nutshell - lower blood sugar, lower insulin and, therefore, lower fat storage. Insulin is the fat storing hormone. That is one of the reasons why low-carbing works - lowers insulin output. Since the product lowers blood sugar, people with diabetes need to be very aware of this, however, it could be a useful tool for diabetes 2. Don't ever do something like this without the advice of your doctor. To my mind, this product could do something similar to Metformin (without all the side effects) for people wanting to lose weight and who do not necessarily have diabetes.
It can be added in tiny amounts, like one capsule, to cake, muffin and loaf batters to add moisture and softness.
Here is a link to read up a bit more about it.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Found this interesting article about a new study this morning: Wider Waist May Raise Death Risk Later in Life
Seems the risk is even a bit higher for women. Go figure!
"Women of normal weight who nonetheless carried excess weight in their waist area appeared to be most vulnerable to the large waist-death risk association."
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Nutritional Analysis: 18 cookies, 1 cookie:
115.2 calories; 2.8 g protein; 9.8 g fat; 2.1 g carbs
Friday, August 6, 2010
Alloxan - a toxin found in white flour - could it cause the pancreas to run out of oomph and the ability to produce enough insulin when the pancreatic cells have been damaged beyond a certain stage? This was an earlier post of mine that I remembered today.
Dr. Briffa wrote a blog article about whether high starch diets could cause diabetes. Hmm - high starch speaks to me of lots of white flour with alloxan - the toxin that destroys pancreatic cells. Think of all those French breads, pancakes, muffins, cakes, etc. made with white flour containing alloxan - that can certainly cause significant pancreatic damage over a long period of time.
"Higher starch consumption was, however, associated with a 23 per cent increased risk of type 2 diabetes."
"Some type 2 diabetics are suffering from a degree of ‘beta-cell exhaustion’. It is the beta cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The harder these cells are worked during our lifetime the more likely they are to get exhausted. Now we have the potential of low levels of insulin. The risk here is that some people can end up secreting low levels of not-very-effective insulin." (My injection: what if those cells have become damaged over time by alloxan? This would result in the same outcome.)
Diabetes and the cause is certainly a mystery, but here is one clue perhaps that I remembered this morning when reading Dr. Briffa's article.
Certainly diabetes and being overweight go hand in hand. If one is insulin resistant (and everyone who has diabetes is), of course one is going to gain weight. First of all, if the energy/glucose is not getting into the cells, one is left much much hungrier than a person who is not insulin resistant. One is constantly being deprived of the necessary energy and that equates to hunger - a natural response to not getting enough fuel for the cells to work properly. Make sense?
The number of people with diabetes these days is astounding, however, even more astounding is that the big organizations for diabetes, some doctors and nutritionists and even hospital staff still prescribe a diet too high in carbohydrates and which is destined to keep people sick. It is a modern crime against our loved ones. Fortunately, many people have woken up to this fact and they are fighting back with the truth.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
About two weeks ago though, we were frantic. Smiley, who loves his food - and I mean he dances in the kitchen for his food, literally (he is too cute! Patience is not his middle name.) - would not eat and was lying on the floor shivering one morning. I suspected he had a fever or low blood sugar or something bad. Anyway we quickly took him down the mountain to a local vet, who diagnosed him with Ehrlichiosis, a tick borne bacterial infection. To say the least, I was petrified that Smiley would die. See, the only time my dog, Happy, became ill, he died not too long thereafter. I had to talk to myself sternly and remind myself that animals, just like humans, get sick too and don't have to die each time. I was worried sick to be honest.
We suspected that Smiley had some kind of urinary tract infection as well, as his pee output was greatly reduced and he was leaving tiny drops in the house. We treated him for the Ehrlichiosis as well as a possible urinary tract infection. That meant two potent antibiotics - Doxycycline for a week and Cipro for a little longer. Poor little guy. I gave him some yogurt periodically to stave off Candida. His appetite was coming back by the fourth day. He literally did not eat much at all before then. He also could not keep the food down in any case. He was so nauseous (possibly a side effect of the antibiotics as well as the infections).
I am so grateful that today Smiley is super-healed. He is back to his happy, energetic self. Thank you, God!
Smiley is really a rags to riches story. His family abandoned him in the middle of the jungle on the top of our mountain. I cannot imagine why. However, my birth family abandoned me too (in particular, my ex-mother), so I feel Smiley and I have something in common. I immediately took to Smiley and wanted to give him a happy home with full acceptance and full privileges (kind of like my heavenly Father did for me many years ago). I went out and bought him a diamond-studded (not! - actually rhinestones) collar with the word Doggie spelled out in the aforementioned glittery decoration. He looks so adorable in the photo below and quite "rich". LOL
Hope you've enjoyed another doggie tale all you doggie lovers out there. Little Smiley has brought much joy into our lives. (smile)
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
HDL levels for the low-carbers at the end a two-year period were much better than for the low-fat dieters: 23 percent vs 12 percent improved.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
P.S. I'll work on a gluten-free pizza crust next.