Category Archives: Low Carb

Low carb recipes.

Kid Approved Egg Burritos

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Our chickens have been on egg production overdrive this summer.   I am not complaining though.  We have enjoyed having an abundance of eggs because they were on strike all winter and I would have given anything for some fresh eggs then.  So I will take it while it’s available and not complain!

There are many ways of preserving eggs to keep them into the winter such as freezing out of the shell, boil them and pickle them in a sweet pickle or even beet juice, or storing whole eggs in buckets of sand in a cellar, and you can also crack them and dehydrate them to use in baking or smoothies later.  I have tried freezing them in the past and may put up some this way before winter arrives again.

I may put some eggs under a hen too and try to get her to hatch out some babies too.  It takes 5 to 7 months for a chicken to start laying eggs, so it is a long waiting process when you get started.  Then they usually lay 1 egg a day for a few months.  Then many stop laying for at least a month and up to three months in the winter depending on temperatures and the amount of daylight.  They also use this rest time to shed their feathers and grow new feathers each year.  Usually by their second or third year, the hens don’t lay every day, but maybe evey second or third day.  Most people butcher the hens for soup by their second season when they are less productive.

Lots of eggs

With farm fresh eggs, it is best to store them unwashed but wash them just before using.  This way they keep fresh longer. In the photo above you can see how the eggs look right out of the nest, some are very clean and some have a little dirt on them.  This won’t hurt the egg because they naturally have a protective barrior on the outside of the shell that protects them.  But once you wash them, you also wash away the protective barrier too.

Fertile egg yolk

Another wonderful thing about farm fresh eggs is that if there is a rooster around, your eggs will be fertile.  The yolks are also more yellow orange colored than store bought eggs and this is due to all the grass and insects the chickens eat all day and it creates an omega 3 richer egg.

I am thankful my kids love eggs and their favorite way to eat them is in Egg Burritos.  This is one of the fastest main dishes I make for my large family.  It cooks up in just a few minutes and is ready to serve.

Kid Approved Egg Burritos

Eggs (2 per person)

Butter for cooking

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Tortilla (any soft kind will do, there are many options for different diet needs)

Add In Options: cheese of your choice, sauted veggies, meat, salsa, guacamole, rice, leftovers, etc.

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Place a tablespoon or so of butter in a nonstick pan and add your eggs.  Scramble and continue to stir as they cook until desired doneness.

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Fill tortilla shells.  I find it very handy to place them in a cake pan while I am filling them as it helps hold up the sides of the burrito for me to fill.  Add cheese and even salsa if you wish and serve.  You can make these ahead, then cover and set in a warm oven until ready to eat.  They are also great frozen and reheated when needed.

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Eggs are such a great source of complete protein and easy to digest for most people.  They are delicious served anytime of day or night.  Eggs are very satisfying and help you feel full while nourishing your body.

Be blessed!

Melinda

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Tuna Pepper Boats

This is a delicious lunch. It foocuses on lean protein and lots of low glycemic vegetables. This meal is a lot of food, and it is bursting with fresh flavors. Though it seems like a meal for lunch, I really enjoy this for breakfast too. I find filling up on a great salad and lean protein at breakfast or lunch helps to curb hunger pains. If you find you are still hungry with this meal, try adding some chicken, steak, or turkey bacon to the side salad. I often use this salad as a base in my meals on Phase 2 and then add meats to make a whole meal. But today I wanted to pair it with egg whites and tuna so I came up with these fun little tuna pepper boats.

Tuna Pepper Boats

Tuna Pepper Boats
FMD Phase 2 (THM E-Meal)
2 servings
157 calories, 1 fat, 9 carbs, 2 fiber, 26 protein, 10% Vit A, 130% Vit C

1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into four wedges or “boats”
1 can tuna in water, drained
1 stalk of celery, chopped (I love using celery stalk loaded with leaves and chop it all)
2 Tablespoon red onion, chopped or sliced thin
2 boiled egg white, chopped small
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/16 tsp ground pepper
1/4 lemon, juiced

Mix all the ingredients (except the bell pepper) together. Stuff the tuna mixture inside the bell pepper wedges. Serve.

Tuna Pepper Boats and Side Salad

Side Salad
FMD Phase 2 (THM E-Meal)
2 servings
37 calories, 0 fat, 8 carbs, 3 fiber, 2 protein, 84% Vit A, 56% Vit C

1 cup baby spinach, chopped
2 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup cucumber slices, cut in half
1/2 cup radish slices
1/4 cup red onion chopped
1 lemon, juiced, or serve the lemon wedges so folks can squeeze on their own dressing.
sea salt and pepper to taste

Toss it all together and serve.

Life is what you make of it. Be blessed and enjoy the journey!

This post will be linked up with:
Raising Homemakers
Raising Memories

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Back At The Starting Line, But On My Way!

I’m on my way to a new me!  But boy oh boy it is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I started this journey to a healthier me in December 2012.  I joined the YMCA in Asheville NC and started a Walk and Talk Wednesday program to inspire other moms.  I made good progress for 6 months until we moved across the states to Indiana at the end of May 2013.  By December 2013 I was right back where I started.

Fat and Frustrated!!!

Have you been there?  Do you know what I mean?

After feeling sorry for myself for a while, and not completely sure I could get it turned around, I decided to try a method of eating I had heard about from a friend on the TOS crew.  She had done a combination of Trim Healthy Mama and Lowcarb eating and she was able to reach her fitness goal last year, while meanwhile I went backwards and found myself back at the starting line.

I’m a firm believer in true healthy foods, and if any diet starts spouting off dietary nonsense then I am going to run the other way.  I spent countless hours reading and re-reading the Trim Healthy Mama book which is a combination of a recipe book, a science text, and a faith based self help book.  It all made sense!  Over and over on their Facebook page REAL women had posted their successes too.  I really connected when I read the testimony of a mom with a lot of kids who had followed the program and successfully lost a 100 lbs and reached her goals.  Wow!

I started Trim Healthy Mama February 1, 2014.  I started at 249 lbs (ouch that hurts to admit publically), and weighed in at 230 lbs today, July 18, 2014.  Yeah me!!!   This winter I was at my true breaking point with my weight and so discouraged as this is the most I have ever weighed in my life.  I weighed less when pregnant 8 times (we have 6 children and 2 in heaven).   My weight just seemed to climb and climb this past winter even though I was eating healthy.  I could not seem to get it to stop climbing.

Also though I am loosing weight slowly, I have stalled in my weight loss several times over the past few months while following the Trim Healthy Mama program.  I will loose here and there and then stall for a week or two and nothing changes.  Sometimes I gain weight too and it is easy to get discouraged and want to quit.   The yo-yoing up and down can be very discouraging.  I had a vindictive 5 lbs I kept gaining and loosing for weeks on end in April and May.  I definitely see that stress has a big impact on weight gain.  I was stressed because of family finances, and my husband was out of work for more months than he had work over the past year.  He finally got a new job in mid April, but money was so tight and the stress of finances once again was unreal.   At the beginning of July, I was sad to see those 5lbs come back and my weight hovered once again at 235.  It is crazy how I can gain or loose 5lbs almost overnight.  I’ve done enough research to know it is water weight and it is affected by hormone changes and also stress plays a big role.

I felt I needed something more, since I keep having these stalls.  Over the past 17 years I have followed a Weston A Price method of traditional foods which helped me over come infertility.  And for the past  two years, I had added in a Paleo approach.  I had read about a Keto / Lowcarb  approach, but did not implement it at the time.  Finally I am understanding how these methods can compliment each other and benefit me.   Again, the science all makes sense.    I have read a lot about how a lowcarb menu plan can help the body to burn fat for fuel, so that is what I am aiming for.

So after finally getting my brain to understand how this all works, I finally started the 90 Day Healthy Choices Lowcarb Challenge on July 16th at 235lbs and I am at 230lbs today.  I wish I was starting at 229 instead of 235, and I am very frustrated that those pounds I worked so hard to loose found a way to come back this past week.  But I am more determined than ever to be successful on this lowcarb challenge and see if I can bust through some of these difficult hurdles.  So far on Trim Healthy Mama I have an average loss of about  0.8lbs per week or 3.16 lbs per month.   But I want to try to improve this to 2.5lbs a week or 10lbs a month by going on this 90 Day Challenge.

Day three of the challenge is DONE!  Yeah!!!

I am making healthy choices, eating low carb meals with a strategy.   It is definitely a challenge to mix and match the right combos to keep my carb intake low.  I am making healthy choices, and getting great nutrition, and my overall sugar intake is low.  However, I am still above the amount of carbs I want to be at to meet the goal of this lowcarb challenge.  My goal for carbs is to stay below 20 net carbs a day or 5% of my calories, protein 25%, and fats 70% but still incorporate the Trim Healthy Mama approach.  It will take me a little time to get into a good routine so that I can learn to alternate between the lower carb meals, and no carb meals to reach these goals.   I am a work in progress.

So how did I do the first 3 days?

Day 1 Net Carbs = 57

Day 2 Net Carbs = 52

Day 3 Net Carbs = 21

Note:  These net carb totals above include sugar alcohols from Erythritol sweetener and Xylitol sweetener and need to be subtracted off yet and should not have been included in the total.  For some reason the software totals them into the net carbs but it should subtract them as they do not count because the body can’t digest them and they pass on through and have no impact on blood sugar.

It has become very obvious why pre-planning food combinations for meals and snacks individually but also for the whole day to be sure I get in all the nutrients is so critical to achieve my health goals.  I’m back at the starting line, and I have a lot more work to do.  But I am on my way!

 

 

Are you working on any fitness goals?  Please leave a comment and tell us about it.  Thank you.

 

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90 Day “Healthy Choices” Low Carb Challenge

Are you tired of guessing if you are getting enough nutrients each day?  Are you tired of trying to figure out how to loose weight?  Are you tired of feeling like you are starving when you try to keep that New Years Resolution to go on a diet to loose weight?  I can tell you with certainty that I am tired of listening to false dietary advice from folks who really don’t know what they are doing, and tired of failing at getting fit and trim.  Instead of guessing, I want real answers.  I want to know the science of how it works, why it works, and how to repeat it with success.  Don’t try to sell me a pill, or some fancy weight loss program that costs hundreds of dollars!  I want the real change and it should be free because it should be about understanding some facts rather than buying products that may or may not work.

Next week I will be joining up with the 90 Day “Healthy Choices” Low Carb Challenge.  The upcoming challenge runs from July 16, 2014 through October 13th, 2014.

The goal of the challenge is to help you get healthy by making wise food choices, and eat around 20 NET Carbs a day.  The majority of your nutrients should come from healthy fats, healthy proteins, and low carb / high fiber vegetables and low carb / high fiber fruits.  The goal of a low carb meal plan is to maintain an over all low glycemic index, maintain ketosis, and help the body use fat as its main fuel instead of glucose.

All sugars in their various forms, and all starches, and even proteins are broken down into glucose in the body.  You might be asking “What is glucose?  What is glycemic, or low glycemic?”  Glucose is the form of sugar the body uses for fuel, and it breaks down all other sources of sugar into this chemical structure for use.  Glycemic ratio is a method of computing how fast foods are broken down into glucose.  It measures the impact breaking down carbs such as sugars and starches has on the blood stream.  The higher the glycemic load on the body, the higher the glucose in the bloodstream and the harder the liver and pancreas has to work to regulate blood sugar.  High glycemic load results in high blood sugar and eventually leads to diseases like Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes II, etc, and also feeds various fungus and cancers.  But a low carb lifestyle that maintains a low glycemic load on the body, and tends to support ultimate health and longevity.

I have always studied nutrition since my highschool days.  In college I spent countless hours studying dietary information.  I also allowed a dietary student to follow my food journals to help them and myself learn.  After college I became a medical social worker and observed first hand the impact of food and medications on mood and behavior as well as weight loss or gain and overall quality of life in my clients.  When I was in my late 20’s I learned about a better way of food preparation based on traditional diets of our ancestors instead of highly processed foods.  I joined the Weston A Price Foundation as a student and lover of learning and kept up with all the latest research about the health impact of various foods and how foods should be prepared to maximize their nutritional value.  Following the WAPF methods of food prep and eating traditional foods helped me overcome infertility and restored my reproductive health.  I finally had my first child at age 30 and now have a total of six living children and two in heaven.  During this time, I also opened a healthy foods store to sell natural traditional foods and supplements to my local community.  We eventually closed the store when I was 38 years old, to take a job opportunity for my husband in another state.  But I will never forget all the lives that were forever impacted for the better including my own.  I give all the glory to God, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn about real nutrient dense food.

Fast forward and I am now 44 years old.   With my last child born two years ago, I had an emergency C-section that seems to have caused some damage to my metabolism and immune system.  My body did not recover as fast as I had expected it to from the trauma of emergency surgery and the effects of anesthesia.  I also gained weight after the surgery and I could not seem to maintain my weight.  So last year I began a new journey of learning about the endocrine system (mainly the thyroid and adrenal glands) and how to heal.

Over the past year I have learned a lot about using carbs and fats as fuel for the body and how to separate them in various meal plans so the body only has to uses one fuel source provided instead of having to use one and store one when they are both provided at the same time.  Last spring I dug right in and learned about The Fast Metabolism Diet.  This book provided an introduction to manipulating meals and causing healing of the thyroid with nutrition.  FMD helped me loose 18lbs by eating 5 meals / snacks a day, starting within the first 30 minutes of waking.  They also encouraged mild exercise every other day and have a helpful Facebook group for support.  Then this past winter I dug in and read a huge book and learned about another method of food combining and fuel switching called Trim Healthy Mama.  I finally tried it out in February and by April I had lost 14lbs following this method.  I really liked THM because it allowed dairy (cream, cheese, butter, etc.) and because it is Christian based and it supports the whole person, not just menu planning, and there is tons of support through a forum and various online Facebook groups.

Both programs, FMD and THM control the kind of fuel being used by the body and give the body a rest between eating a different fuel source.  The FMD switches fuel sources every two to three days.  So it has two days of moderate carbs and protein, two days of no carbs (or very little) and  lean protein, and three days of moderate carbs, protein sources that contain higher fat, and healthy plant-based fats.  The THM switches fuel sources as often as every other meal.  Both programs space meals and snacks three hours apart and with both you eat about 5 times a day.  Both programs are seeing wonderful successes and I have learned a lot about how to meal plan and when to switch fuel sources.

I am wanting to take my nutritional goals a step further, as I am learning about auto immune reactions to foods, and I want to eliminate most legumes (eat only occasionally or not at all), and eliminate most grains (though I would still enjoy some soaked or sprouted gluten-free low carb grains), and bring the over all carb counts from plant foods down in the meals.  This is very exciting as I learn more about the body and how various foods and nutrients impact the body differently.

I have been creating some recipes, and doing meal planning before starting the challenge.  On my trial run, I tried to reach a goal of 20 or less net carbs (total carbs – fiber carbs = net carbs) on a few different days over the past few weeks to see if I could actually eat this way.  It is one thing to read about it.  It is a whole different thing to actually try to live it 24/7.  Most of the time, by the end of the day, my overall total carbs were between 35 to 90, and my net carbs (carb count after subtracting fiber) were usually between 19 carbs and 30 carbs with a few days over 40.  So I am feeling hopeful that with a few more tweaks, and learning how to actually keep up with keeping track of net carbs while still getting all the macro and micro nutrients, I will be able to do this.  It boils down to a learning curve and following through with a plan.

On this challenge, I plan to make lots of low carb meals and snacks, many from my own original creations with dietary knowledge I have gained from learning different methods.  I think my recipes will combine ideas from Trim Healthy Mama, Weston A Price Foundation, The Fast Metabolism Diet, Keto, Paleo, Glutenfree, and Sugarfree  variations.  I plan to track not only my carbs, but understand the various nutrients in the meals I eat and what nutrients are in excess and what nutrients are lacking and need increased for a more balanced nutritional approach.

I am personally at a point in my life where guessing about my health and nutrition is not a healthy option for me.  Don’t just tell me this or that is healthy.  I want to understand the macros and micros of what I am eating and know with confidence that I am doing the right thing for my body.  I have been tracking the nutrients on each recipe I create and also on the menu for the whole day.  The results have been eye-opening.  I can see what days I need more protein, or more thiamine, or B12 for example.  This mix of research and recipes should be a fun exploration, delicious I hope, and a very interesting learning journey as I track my changes over a 90 day period.

I hope you will check back for my progress updates.

If you would like to join the 90 Day Low Carb Challenge, check out the information over at Traveling Lowcarb and register with your email for updates and encouragement.  It’s free!

Be blessed!

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