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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WHITE CHOCOLATE CARAMEL CHEESECAKE




WHITE CHOCOLATE CARAMEL CHEESECAKE
The filling for this cheesecake is topnotch and the topping is wonderful, not only for this cheesecake but for several other cheesecakes as well.  Cheesecakes are very low-carb friendly.  One of the most perfect, sophisticated desserts we can serve after a wonderful meal!  


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!

Almond Crust:
11/cups ground almonds (325 mL)
1/cup powdered erythritol (60 mL)
1/cup vanilla whey protein (60 mL)
6 tbsp butter, melted (90 mL)
2 egg yolks  (OR skip - just make sure your crust ingredients are wet enough)
Filling:
3, 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened (750 g)
3 eggs, room temperature (if possible)                
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup sugar (250 mL)
1/cup powdered erythritol (125 mL)
1/cup sour cream (60 mL)
1/cup whipping cream (60 mL)
Caramel Topping, (see recipe below)

Almond Crust:  Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  In medium bowl, combine ground almonds, powdered erythritol and vanilla whey protein.  Stir in butter and egg yolks.  Prepare an 8-inch (20 cm) nonstick springform pan for water bath.  Wrap foil up the sides of the springform pan (you’ll need two big sheets).  Sprinkle crust mixture in pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and press crust out evenly; remove plastic wrap.  Bake 10 minutes or until turning brown at edges.

Filling:  In food processor with sharp blade, blender or in bowl with electric mixer, process cream cheese until smooth.  Add eggs, liquid sweetener, powdered erythritol, sour cream and whipping cream; process until smooth.  Add melted cocoa butter; process.  Pour over baked crust. Place springform pan in larger pan and pour boiling water in it and about an inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the springform pan.  Bake 40 minutes.  Switch oven off, open oven door slightly and allow cheesecake to continue to cook 30 minutes more. Set pan on wire rack. When cooled completely to room temperature, pour Caramel Topping, (see recipe below) over top.
  

Helpful Hint:  *Melt cocoa butter in a double boiler or in the microwave oven. Be very cautious with the molten, hot cocoa butter.  Even with commercial powdered erythritol, I find it necessary to blend it finely in my coffee bean grinder.

Yield:  16 servings
1 serving with caramel
363.5 calories
11.1 g protein
34.2 g fat
3.6 g carbs

CARAMEL TOPPING
This topping is for the above cheesecake.

Caramel Sauce:
1/2  cup granulated erythritol (125 mL)
1 tsp molasses (5 mL)
1/2  cup whipping cream (125 mL)
2 tbsp butter (30 mL)
Caramel Topping:
1/2  cup vanilla whey protein (125 mL)
2 tbsp butter (30 mL)
2 tbsp whole milk, OR skim milk powder (30 mL)
1/2  tsp vanilla extract (2 mL)

Caramel Sauce:  In nonstick saucepan, combine erythritol and molasses over medium heat until erythritol dissolves and bubbles.  Remove from heat and stir in cream and butter.  Stir until smooth.  Return to heat and boil until caramel is bubbling up and golden brown.  Let cool 2 minutes.

Caramel Topping:  In blender, combine Caramel Sauce, vanilla whey protein, butter, whole milk, OR skim milk powder and vanilla extract.  Blend until smooth.

Helpful Hint:  This Caramel Topping should be plenty thick enough but, if not, you can add 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) xanthan gum to blender and blend.

Yield:  12/16 servings
1 serving
91.7/68.8 calories
3.6/2.7 g protein
7.9/5.9 g fat
1.9/1.4 g carbs

Monday, January 27, 2014

CRISPY POTATO SKINS



CRISPY POTATO SKINS
Jonathan said with delight, “This is a great appetizer.  Put it in the book!” A man named Arthur commented on my blog: “You have changed my low-carb world. I never even thought I could have the skins from potatoes!” Ginny Larsen, an author in LCAF's, volume 2 cookbook, from Ginny’s Low-Carb Kitchen said: “Good idea for me since my men all eat potatoes. I never thought of using the skins.”  The carbs are quite acceptable for us on our low-carb diet, but you will no doubt get some raised eyebrows."  LOL  Now you won't feel deprived.  Mash the potatoes for your friends or make potato salad, but I'm betting your friends will be reaching for your treat!   I would not make these super often, but when your friends are enjoying fries or potatoes...you can have these...and watch them reach for YOUR treat! ;)

For more lovely recipes like this one, visit our LCAF's Facebook page. THANKS!

3 lbs potatoes (1.5 kg)
  (approx. 13 oz (368 g) potato skins)
1/cup olive oil (60 mL)
1 tsp seasoning salt (5 mL)
1/tsp paprika (1 mL)
1 green onion, chopped (optional)
11/cups Monterey Jack, OR (375 mL)
  Cheddar cheese

Peel potato skins in thin strips.  Set peel aside. 

In large bowl, combine olive oil, seasoning salt and paprika.  Add potato skins and toss in seasoned oil to coat well.  Lay out in single layer on cookie sheets.  Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven 15 to 30 minutes, checking every 5 minutes after the 15 minutes have elapsed to remove crisp, golden potato skins.

Once all potato skins are baked to perfection, lay them out once again on cookie sheets and sprinkle with green onion and Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese.  Bake 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Helpful Hints:  These may also be served with a meal in lieu of potatoes or French Fries.  Use peeled potatoes to make a scalloped potato casserole or mashed potatoes for family members or friends or a neighbor not on a low-carb diet.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
235.9 calories
9.0 g protein
19.0 g fat
6.0 g carbs


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 

http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

CHICKEN ENCHILADA DIP





CHICKEN ENCHILADA DIP
This recipe would be GREAT for the Super Bowl ... it feeds a crowd!!  If you would like some really crunchy, strong crackers for such a dip, see my CRISP NUTTY CRACKERS.  
The crackers above are great for snacking on as well.  I butter them and cover them in grated Monterey Jack Cheese. Yummy!


16 oz regular cream cheese, softened (500 g)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, (411 g)
  (not drained)
2 green onions, chopped (optional)
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed, or use
  a melon baller (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder (5 mL)
1 tsp cumin (5 mL)
1/tsp paprika (2 mL)
1/tsp oregano (1 mL)
1/tsp salt (1 mL)
1/tsp onion salt (0.5 mL)
2 cups cooked, diced chicken (500 mL)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided (500 mL)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).  In large bowl, mix softened cream cheese (nuke if necessary in the microwave oven first), tomatoes, green onions or avocado (if using), garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and onion salt. Stir in chicken. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) Cheddar cheese.

Place in a pretty, large 2-quart (2 L) capacity oval dish or use a 9 x 13-inch (2 L) casserole dish.  Sprinkle with remaining Cheddar cheese.  Bake 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly.  Serve with sliced cucumbers, sliced jicama or low-carb crackers (SEE ABOVE).

Yield:  12 to 16 servings
1 serving
231.2/173.4 calories
12.5/9.4 g protein
18.8/14.1 g fat
2.9/2.2 g net carbs



For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced! 

SAUTEED ZUCCHINI


SAUTEED ZUCCHINI

When there is an abundance of zucchini, it’s great to have an easy, quick recipe handy to take care of some of the surplus zucchini in a delicious way.  I loved the simplicity of this recipe.  It's so tasty, I can eat it all by myself!   As you can see there wasn't much left to photograph.  I could not stop nibbling!



14 oz zucchini (397 g)
1 tbsp olive oil, OR bacon fat (15 mL)
1/2  tsp crushed garlic (2 mL)
1/2  tsp salt (2 mL)
1/8  tsp black pepper (0.5 mL)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, optional (30 mL) 

Wash zucchini, cut off ends, and cut into 2 x 1/4 –inch (5 x 0.6 cm) matchsticks.

In large, nonstick frying pan, over medium heat in olive oil, stir fry garlic 30 seconds.  Add zucchini and stir-fry, turning occasionally until tender and browned in places.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat well and stir-fry briefly.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if using.  Serve immediately.


Yield:  4 servings
1 serving
58.7 calories
2.5 g protein
4.5 g fat

1.5 g net carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 


Saturday, January 18, 2014

BROCCOLI CHICKEN DIVAN



BROCCOLI CHICKEN DIVAN
This classic easily translates to a low-carb meal.  It can also be served as a side dish, which is what I normally do.  I think I would be inclined to say this makes a good informal lunch or supper, but you would need another side, perhaps or another meat dish.  It's been years since I made Broccoli Chicken Divan and after I made it, I wondered why?  Tasty way to use up leftover chicken!  You can change it up by adding a bit of mayonnaise and curry.


1 lb fresh broccoli (0.45 kg)
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken (500 mL)
1/4  cup whipping cream (60 mL)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack, OR (250 mL)
  Cheddar cheese
Crunchy Casserole Topping:
1/cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (125 mL)
1/3  cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2* - could use ground almonds, I'm guessing (75 mL)
2 tbsp butter, melted (30 mL)

Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).

In pot of boiling water, cook broccoli until tender, to your taste (or steam the broccoli).  In 2 qt (2 L) casserole dish, place cooked broccoli, add chicken.

Prepare Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup and stir in whipping cream.  Pour over chicken.  Sprinkle with Monterey Jack, OR Cheddar cheese.

Place in oven along with Crunchy Casserole Topping in the pie dish.  Bake 15 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly.  The topping should be golden brown.  Break up the topping after it has cooled 5 minutes.  Sprinkle the topping over the hot casserole and serve.

Crunchy Casserole Topping:  In small bowl, combine Monterey Jack cheese, Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 and butter.  Spread in clumps in 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie dish.

Helpful Hint:  Keep an eye on the Crunchy Casserole Topping after 10 minutes, as it can turn too dark rather quickly.  

Yield:  6/8 servings
1 serving
520.8/390.6 calories
40.6/30.4 g protein
37.2/27.9 g fat
4.6/3.5 g net carbs


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

FRENCH TOAST WITH BROWN BUTTER SYRUP



FRENCH TOAST WITH BROWN BUTTER SYRUP

This tastes very similar to French toast and the delicious brown butter syrup just makes it even better. You will feel like you are cheating!!  Low-carbing can be a very luxurious diet!  I must admit I'm not an eggs and bacon in the morning sort of person.  I like my cup of tea or weak, milk coffee with something like what I've pictured above, but for me, only two pieces of bacon.  More than likely that would not be breakfast, though, but my main meal of the day.  I don't eat a lot...at least I don't think so.  Breakfast (I get up late - around 9 or 9:30 am, but get to bed most nights close to midnight - I want to change all of that sometime soon...I like the early mornings typically, and I work best early in the morning) is usually leftover baking and my tea or simply my tea more often than not.  Then I'll eat around midday or so.  I'll have a big meal and a medium-sized to small supper, or if I have had a breakfast that day, sometimes I skip supper.  So basically, I'm not what you would call a big eater most the time...weird considering my career revolves around food all the time!  I think that would not be the case if I lived off white flour and sugar products, however.  Low-carbing is an especially good way to satisfy the appetite.

  (each sliced into 3 rounds)
Brown Butter Syrup:
1/cup butter (125 mL)
Granular sweetener to equal 1/2 cup (125 mL)
  sugar*
1/cup whipping cream (125 mL)

Prepare Hamburger Buns.  Slice a hamburger bun into three slices.  In nonstick, dry pan, toast pieces until golden brown on both sides.  Serve immediately with Brown Butter Syrup.

Brown Butter Syrup:  In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Keep cooking the butter until it turns golden brown.  Stir in the sweetener and whipping cream.  Whisk with a whisk until the mixture boils.  Remove from the heat.  Store in a Mason jar in the refrigerator.  Serve the syrup slightly warm.

Helpful Hints:  *I used Natural Mate® Granular.  You can get it in a Erythritol/Stevia or Erythritol/Sucralose version. What I enjoy about these new sweeteners is that there is practically NO cooling after effect that is so common when using erythritol by itself.  Please use whatever sweetener you like though, just not erythritol by itself...you can combine it with liquid stevia or sucralose.

Yield:  3 French toast pieces 
1 bun with 3 tbsp syrup
490.0 calories
15.1 g protein
44.6 g fat
6.8 g net carbs

Saturday, January 11, 2014

SAUCY SLOW COOKER BABY BACK RIBS





SAUCY SLOW COOKER BABY BACK RIBS

These ribs are deliciously tender and saucy, even although I use much less sauce than is typically used in many recipes.  I love ribs.  I don't know about you.  Geesh, I feel a lot like Wilma in the Flintstones when I enjoy these!  Ian looks a bit like Freddie Flintstone sitting next to me with a pile of dem bones, dem bones on a plate near him! Some people can't get past the "bones", but I seem to be able to put my mind in neutral.  Ribs are often very sugary thanks to the sugary sauces that are used.  It's not necessary for them to still taste amazing.  If you have enough protein on your low-carb diet (not too much, mind you - about 60 grams a day for the average woman, I believe), you will be more satiated.  Sure if you eat much too much protein, it will be turned into glucose through a process called gluconeogenisis.  I find ribs incredibly satiating as they are typically fairly fatty as well.  Baby back ribs are the tastiest and most tender ribs, I find.  Ribs can be made in the oven as well.  Here is another recipe of mine - Country-Style Slow Cooker Ribs.

1.2 kg pork baby back ribs (2.6 lbs)
Seasoning salt, to taste
Rib Sauce:
51/2  oz tomato paste (156 mL)
2/cup water (150 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1/cup (125 mL)
  sugar
3 tbsp white vinegar (45 mL)  Can use less  - like 1 tbsp
1 tbsp molasses (15 mL) Can use a little more if you have the carb allowance
1 tsp salt (5 mL)
1 tsp crushed garlic (5 mL)
1 tsp liquid smoke (5 mL)  Can use up to 2 tsp
1/tsp onion salt (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (2 mL)

Wash ribs and pat dry.  Sprinkle liberally with seasoning salt.  Cut to fit slow cooker. 

Rib Sauce:  In medium bowl, combine tomato paste, water, liquid sweetener, vinegar, molasses, salt, garlic, liquid smoke, onion salt and black pepper.  Whisk well with a wire whisk.  Spread half of sauce over all the ribs.  Place in slow cooker and set to high for 2 hours.  Reduce heat to low and cook 8 hours, or until the meat is very tender.  Spread a little extra sauce over the cooked ribs (straight from the refrigerator is fine).

Helpful Hints:  The sauce makes about 11/cups (375 mL), therefore, use 3/cup (175 mL) for the ribs.  The sauce may be frozen for next time.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
597.0 calories
33.3 g protein
47.4 g fat
6.6 g net carbs


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 

http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

WHY THE SCALES CAN LIE!!!!

Now that the new year is here (Happy New Year 2014, by the way!), many of us (yep, including me), would like to get serious about our eating and drop some scale weight.  However, there is one small problem with that...we have to remember the scale sometimes seems to have a mind of its own, despite us doing everything right.  This article will help you to relax, and not freak out, and encourage you and give you HOPE!!  Stay the course, and the weight eventually HAS to come off!  As to how often one should weigh. That is an individual thing...I like to weigh once or twice a week, and when I'm dieting probably a bit more often than that!!  :)

P.S.  I do not know who to credit for the original article, however, it has been around for a long time.

Just ignore the fact that this young lady has nothing to scream about!  She is a real skinny minny as far as I can see. LOL

WHY THE SCALES CAN LIE 
A biologist at Berkeley shared something very revealing on the low-carb BBS system about 4 years ago that helps us all through the erratic weight fluctuations you invariably encounter: Fat cells are resilient, stubborn little creatures that do not want to give up their actual cell volume. Over a period of weeks, maybe months of "proper dieting", each of your fat cells may have actually lost a good percentage of the actual fat contained in those cells. But the fat cells themselves, stubborn little guys, replace that lost fat with water to retain their size. That is, instead of shrinking to match the reduced amount of fat in the cell, they stay the same size! Result - you weigh the same, look the same, maybe even gained some scale weight, even though you have actually lost some serious fat.

The good news is that this water replacement is temporary. It's a defensive measure to keep your body from changing too rapidly. It allows the fat cell to counter the rapid change in cell composition, allowing for a slow, gradual reduction in cell size. The problem is, most people are frustrated with their apparent lack of success, assume they have lost nothing, and stop dieting.

However, if you give those fat cells some time, like 4-6 months, and ignore the scale weight fluctuations, your real weight/shape will slowly begin to show. The moral of the story - be patient! Your body is changing even if the number on the scale isn't.

PATTERNS OF WEIGHT LOSS

Common patterns of weight loss from tracking a lot of people who become assimilated into the low carb lifestyle, a pattern emerges.... the 2 week induction is pretty heady...weight lost just about every single day, enormous and unbelievable amounts of weight loss are reported. This is often followed by complaints that weight loss "stalls" or that the rate drops to only 1 pound per week.

Many people just don't know that fat-loss ...the actual goal when on a weight-reduction" diet, is rate-limited. In other words, the human body has factors that prevent more than a certain amount of fatty-acid release from storage...and even more factors that prevent those released fatty acids from being used up instead of stored back into the fat cells.

A priority of the human body is survival. Anything that threatens its survival results in the cascade of events to maintain the previous status quo. Water fluctuations are one way the body does this. OK...so you done good on Atkins' during induction...lost 10 pounds the first 2 weeks. Maybe 7 the first week and 3 the second. But, whoa! Weeks 3 and 4 there is NO loss! And weeks 5 and 6 is only 1/2 pound each!

So... what gives? Initially, the body jettisons the water attached to the glycogen stores that we diligently deplete to get into ketosis...this accounts for about 3-5 pounds of water. In addition, muscle stores of glycogen are not being replaced when used...which will account for the rest. All in all...MAYBE 1/2 pound of fat was metabolized during the first week... and MAYBE 1/2 pound of fat was metabolized the 2nd week. Of that 10 initial pounds, only 1 pound was fat and 9 pounds water...

The body senses this lack and sirens start shrieking: Warning! Warning! Losing water... new thing...got to get back to the status quo! Brain tells body to produce and release that vasopressin anti-diuretic hormone....more water is retained, and no weight loss noticed. Fat loss is still occurring, MAYBE even 2 pounds per week, because ketosis is firmly established and appetite suppression is in effect...but water retention is hiding that continuing fat loss. The body is preventing dehydration with this mechanism, and that's a *good* thing.

From the perspective of the scale, it can be discouraging. Which is why the mantra: Water retention masks fat loss (repeated frequently to oneself) is helpful. Water retention will mask ongoing fat-loss for as long as the body retains the water. We can combat this by drinking more water...but we aren't going to totally overcome this mechanism during the initial water-loss phase of the Atkins diet. By weeks 5 and 6, things start to get back in balance, and the scale will begin to reflect the true fat-loss...which, as mentioned before is rate-limited.

Individuals vary, but max weight loss runs about 2 pounds per week...under extremely optimal conditions... or 1% of body weight (whichever is the lower number). So don't use the scale as an excuse to undermine your progress. Even when the scale is in a stall, fat loss can be occurring.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We've been told over an over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can't resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can't bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence it's readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the body's water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they don't understand what's happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto it's water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it's easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn't have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts.

The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. That's why, when it comes to eating, it's wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.

Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it's packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it's stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates.

As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it's associated water. It's normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if you're prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it's wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you've had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It's the actual weight of everything you've had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you've finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it's not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it's likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in.

Generally, it's only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it's physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you're really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scale's sneakiest attribute. It doesn't just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesn't necessarily mean that you've lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what you've lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when you're just sitting around. That's one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of "Body Fueling," compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn't differentiate between the two. It can't tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat.

There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current.

If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn't appeal to you, don't worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don't be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride.

It's a matter of mind over scale.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

GIANT, THICK CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES FOR TWO


GIANT, THICK CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Sometimes you only want one or two chocolate chip cookies and not the temptation of a whole batch of cookies!  These simple, BIG cookies fit the bill.  Choose tasty chocolate chips for an extra-special treat!  Now you can have a tea or coffee date with your sweetie in no time flat!  Enjoy!  Oh, and use the extra egg white in scrambled eggs.

1 egg yolk
1 tbsp butter, melted
Liquid sweetener to equal 2 tbsp (30 mL)
  sugar, OR to taste
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (1 mL)
1/4 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1 (60 mL)
   (leave out the xanthan gum if you are sensitive to it)
1/4 tsp baking powder (1 mL)
2 tbsp sugar-free chocolate chips (30 mL)

In small bowl, combine egg yolk, butter, liquid sweetener and vanilla extract.  In another small bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1 and baking powder.  Stir dry ingredients into egg yolk mixture until well combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Form 2 equal-sized dough balls. 

Spray 2 small ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.  Press a dough ball evenly in bottom of each ramekin.  Microwave cookie dough in both ramekins at the same time.  Nuke 45 seconds (powerful microwave oven 1200 Watts, but for a small microwave oven...75 seconds). You can eat these warm, however, I prefer to put them in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes for an extra-special, crunchy cookie.

Helpful Hints:  Do not use Truvia® or Steviva Blend® in these cookies – they will burn too easily.

Yield:  2 cookies
1 cookie
193.5 calories
4.1 g protein
15.4 g fat
3.7 g net carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!

MILK CHOCOLATE BAR




MILK CHOCOLATE BAR
Do you love milk chocolate, but you cannot handle too much of the sweeteners used in sugar-free chocolates?  This is a very creamy milk chocolate bar.  Sugar-free chocolates abound, however, most manufacturers use maltitol or polydextrose or sorbitol and any one of those sweeteners can cause digestive issues for some people.  Here you can have a chocolate bar with the smallest amount of sugar-free chocolate.  You can even reduce the amount by combining one ounce of sugar-free chocolate with unsweetened baker's chocolate, or simply use baker's chocolate.  You can increase the chocolate and reduce the cocoa butter.  You can find cocoa butter HERE! This is a fun recipe that you can play with to your heart's content. You can make a dark chocolate bar, or remember my WHITE CHOCOLATE BAR?....it's a very similar recipe.

NOTE:  Unsalted butter would probably be a good alternative to coconut oil (flavor of which may come through too strongly for some people, depending on the brand used.  I liked my chocolate with the coconut oil, personally.  I used the NOW brand, virgin coconut oil.)


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2 oz cocoa butter* (60 g)
2 oz sugar-free chocolate** (60 g)
2 tbsp coconut oil, OR unsalted butter (30 mL)
Sweetener to equal 2/3 cup sugar*** (150 mL)
1/2  cup whole milk powder, OR skim milk powder**** (125 mL)

In double boiler, over medium heat, melt cocoa butter, chocolate and coconut oil, OR unsalted butter using a whisk to make sure the chocolate melts completely.  Stir in the sweetener, whole, OR skim milk powder*** and whisk until smooth. Pour into 9 x 5-inch (23 x 12 cm) glass loaf pan or nonstick loaf pan.  Freeze until firm.  Cut into squares.  Keep in the refrigerator.

Helpful Hints:  *Cocoa butter is available here.

**You may use unsweetened baker’s chocolate, however, you will need to adjust the sweetness – i.e. use more sweetener.  You can reduce the amount of cocoa butter and increase the baker's chocolate and make a dark chocolate bar.

 ***I used Natural Mate® erythritol/sucralose concentrated powder (15 scoops).  There is a stevia version as well, if you prefer. It's available on Amazon. (Click to see)  However, if you prefer, use whatever you normally use as a sweetener and grind it finely in a coffee bean grinder to a fine powder.  Remember that sucralose on it's own does not do a great job of sweetening chocolate.  Adding some powdered (very finely powdered) sweetener will do a great job...such as Swerve!

****Skim milk powder is sometimes rather coarse – Measure the amount needed first, and then blend finely in a blender or coffee bean grinder, before using. Best results with whole milk powder – available in the Hispanic section of Super Walmart or Publix or in Costco.  This should only be an occasional treat as it is very high in calories.  It would probably make a good occasional fat fast item.  


Yield:  18 (6 x 3) servings
1 serving
74.7 calories
1.1 g protein
6.5 g fat

1.5 g net carbs