Are you looking at food labels?

You need to look at food labels if you want to keep slim.  You would be amazed at how many carbs are in things!

You want items that are high protein and low carb.  You also want more fiber and not too much sugar.

Let’s look at some protein bars for instance.   There are many websites which will show you the food labels.  Caloriecount.about.com, myfitnesspal.com and livestrong.com and  http://tracker.dailyburn.com/nutrition/food_search will give you this information.

Some people think that if they eat a Balanced Bar, that it will be a good nutritional snack.  Well, a Balanced Bar basically has about 23 g carbs, 1 or 2 g fiber, 17 or 18 g sugar and 14 or so g protein.  So, great on protein, but not so good on carbs, fiber or sugar.  Similar information on many protein bars, including the Special K bars.

Better bars in numbers, Oh Yeah, Think Thin, Power Crunch and Nature Valley Protein Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate (pretty much the only Nature Valley item that I would recommend).

The Power Crunch is only 10 g carbs (the lowest I have found), only 5 g of sugars (compared to others at 15 g plus), 14 g of protein (pretty good) and only 1 g fiber.  So, good on everything, except the fiber.

The Nature Valley bar previously mentioned is 14 g carbs, 10g protein, 6 g sugar and 5 grams fiber.  So, basically not too bad.  I do wish that the sugar was lower, but it is better in the other areas.  If anyone finds something that tastes n this decadent and is better in all categories, please let me know.  I have tried the Oh Yeah, which is lower in sugar and it just was not as tasty as this bar was!  A girl has to have something that tastes good while eating well and to stay thin!

I challenge you to start looking at labels.  The article on how looking at food labels is attached.  I challenge you to read it.

http://www.elements4health.com/paying-attention-to-food-labels-pays-off-on-the-scale-for-weight-loss.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+elements4health%2FmTrh+%28Elements4Health+%29

Be careful with cereal and rice.  LOADED IN CARBS.  Here is a food label of a generic corn flakes box for ONE cup (have you measured a cup?  It is small) of corn flakes.  How many of us only eat ONE cup of cereal?

Cereal has lots of carbs, not a lot of protein.  Good choice for breakfast?  One egg has no sugar, 6 g of protein and ZERO carbs.  And don’t even get me started on rice!  I am just sayin….

 

Sometimes you need a little Italian!

I was in the mood today for some pasta.  But a regular small serving of spaghetti is about 35g of carbs WITHOUT the sauce.  You can get high protein, low carb pastas on the internet or a low carb store.  Lindora, for instance has one that tastes great and is about 5g of carbs.  http://store.lindora.com/index.php/hot-and-hearty-proteins/protini-pasta.html

So, I cooked the pasta, heated up a little marinara sauce.  Check the bottles, some are higher than? others.  You can always buy low carb online (Netrition.come or Carbesstentials.net for instance).  But, mine was about 8 carbs per half cup.  I mixed that up and sprinkled a little ZERO carb cheese on top, which made it so delish!  Anyway, about 13 carbs for my delicious lunch.

Who is suffering on a diet?  Not me!

Emergency Food Supply

So, you didn’t plan ahead.  You ran out of the house and brought no snacks or lunch.  What to do?

1.  Keep nuts and seeds or low carb protein bars (like Power Crunch)  at your desk, in your purse, or in your car.  You can eat a handful of them (not the whole jar).

2.  You can grab some cheese or hard boiled eggs and run out the door with those (try to keep them in supply at home)

3.  If you must run through fast food out of desperation:  Always look for chargrilled chicken-type things.  Some places do chargrilled nuggets or strips upon request.  I know Chick Fil A does.  In fact, attached is my food run today, as my husband is busy and I wanted to pick up a quick lunch and go home to assist my dogs.  I bought the Chick Fil A Chargrilled  Chicken Salad.  http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Food/Menu-Detail/ChickfilA-Chargrilled-Chicken-Garden-Salad#?details=ingredients  It is only 11g carbs.  I do not eat the croutons at 9g carbs for the bag.  I do like the sunflower seeds at 3g of carbs.  Watch the dressing.  I love the honey mustard dressing which has a lot of carbs, but I use it sparingly.  Their balsamic vinaigrette has no carbs.  So, use your discretion.  However, this is a wiser decision than getting the chargrilled chicken wrap at a whopping 50g carbs and the Chargrilled Sandwich at 36g carbs (the bun!).  And their classic Chicken Sandwich is 42g carbs.

Choose your junk food wisely and sparingly!  Always look at the nutrition lists that most places have hanging up or are available by request.

 

You can eat two!

Tonight, I made the recipe that I posted today on the Supreme Taco Bell-esq meal.  It took about 10 minutes to do the whole thing.  

I used Sonoma Carb Cutting Tortillas from Trader Joes (other markets too).  4 net carbs per tortilla.  I made the recipe that I posted today.  I made a combo of an enchilada and burrito.  I warmed the tortillas in the microwave, then put on a combo of my own version of the recipe.  So, I put in cut up turkey slices, taco seasoning, mozzarella and cheddar cheese, then on top a layer of diced tomatoes and lettuce and instead of sour cream, used something that tasted similar and was less carbs (picked up at Trader Joes)–Creme Fraiche (in the cheese spread section).

I folded it all like a burrito, and placed them face down and closed up onto a oiled hot pan and cooked for a few minutes. turned them and did it on the other side.  I warmed Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce and when I removed the wrapped tortilla and put it on the plate, I drizzled hot enchilada sauce on it.  It was really tasty. I ate two (less than 10 carbs) and my husband had two and he really liked them a lot.  My fear is that if I keep up cooking so good, he may want to eat at home all of the time!

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The Secret

Took my adopted niece out today for low carb shopping at Trader Joes.  She wants to lose a little weight and it is totally do-able.  With her great exercise, if she were to carefully choose her carb content, she will lose Picked tasty things for her to eat.  Lots of goodies.  Different kinds of chicken sausages,, turkey sausages, turkey bacon, cheeses, humus spread, low carb tortillas, fruit, low carb salads, low carb protein bars.  Just good choices.  Some salads with chips and noodles were like 45 carbs and some were only 10 or 13.  You have to read labels.  Every single thing we picked up, She felt empowered and it was great to see it.  When you exercise a lot and don’t watch your portion size, and don’t eat 6 small protein meals a day (with low carbs, keeping it to a minimum of 50 to 100g of carbs per day), you will not lose weight.  Losing weight takes some thinking and for those who think they can do it and keep it off by exercise or by diet alone–are fooling themselves.  Going home now to make some low carb tortillas!

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Low carb quick pizza

My sister in law gave me a great recipe for a quick low carb pizza on a Western Bagel bottom pizza. I found a different bottom at Costco.

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These rounds are about 14g of carbs. When open them up and you put the lite mozzarella cheese on the halves (which are nicely sliced for you), put on a couple of slices of tomato and some cut up basil– it is about 15g of carbs for both halves of the round.

I put them on a pizza pan sprayed with Pam and baked it for 15 minutes.

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It was delicious! thanks for the great idea, Denise! (my husband stole half if it! It was that good that he would want to eat it.)

Reveal

October 7, will be my one year anniversary of starting with low carbs.  I am sharing a picture that I took before I started the journey and a picture that I took today.  (Those are my yoga pants, so no jokes about the groin fit!)

While on this diet, I added in walking (elliptical) 2 times a week min., 30-60 min. and pilates 2 times a week and yoga 1 time a week……but you can do any form of exercise, even at home.  Just move, even just  minutes!

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Cooking Veggies

If you want to eat in a balanced way, you need to eat four small servings of vegetables in a day. If you stay away from the starches like potatoes, corn, peas and stick with the less carby vegetables, the better for your diet. Things like asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc.  Carrots are a starch, so keep them at a minimum.  If they grow underground, then they are a starch.  There are so many great veggie choices, you should not feel too frustrated.

There are fast ways to cook veggies and I have a sheet which has cooking times.  But, veggies can be boring and sometimes you won’t want to eat them because they are boring.  So, spice them up!  Especially for the kids or the husband who hates them.  One way my husband likes to cook broccoli or asparagus is to spray them with olive oil, put them in tin foil and BBQ them for a few minutes.  If you don’t have a BBQ, then put them in your broiler and do it that way.  They are crispier and tastier that way.  Also, you can sprinkle them with your favorite cheese product, which is low or has NO carbs.  You can use seasoning too.  Don’t just steam them.  Maybe you like them that way, but if the rest of your family is bored by that, then it isn’t just about you!  So, help everyone out and make them tastier.  Heck, even a little marinara sauce might help!

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Bad Influences

I was just writing to my sister-in-law and the idea for a topic popped up in my head.

I think there is a correlation of people who are people being overweight.  Now, hear me out on this.

Let’s say you live with a family who eats whatever they want and they give you are a hard time about your diet, or try to point out what you may or may not be doing wrong (as they stuff themselves with Cheetos!).  How annoying, right?  Well, if you aren’t assertive, you might just either feel bad and eventually eat the Cheetos in a binge cycle because you feel like it is hopeless or you feel ashamed to be the only one with a “problem.”  (a slow metabolism is part of life, but it does not make you a mutant).

But, if you are assertive, you will tell everyone that they are sabotaging your efforts to diet and if they loved you, they would never eat that stuff in front of you and terrorize you with it or they would join you in your quest for healthier food.  We all know that no matter how easy it is to maintain your weight, eating things that are full of processed garbage ultimately is not good for your blood glucose, your gut or your brain and you will eventually pay the price for those poor food choices.  Try watching Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.  The people with supportive families always do better than those with families who do not JOIN them in their quest for better health.

Let’s also say that you go out with friends who want you to eat crappy food with them or go for ice cream or cake.  You have to be assertive enough to demand a place that has decent choices for you, or just have the ability to not go if they can’t be flexible to your needs.  Real friends would NEVER sabotage your health or your goals.  Friends who sabotage and want it to be only their choice are not the kind of friends that you should want in your life.  And only go for a dessert where there are low cal choices like the low cal cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory is less than 20g of carbs per slice (thank you for telling me, sister-in-law!).  And there is Carbolite, sold at some frozen yogurt stores.  There is also just ordering some strawberries with whipped cream on them.  You gotta have the balls and the fortitude to care enough about yourself to say no to high carb foods, whether other people like it or not.

In psychology, it is discussed all of the time about “Homeostasis.”  Definition: Homeostasis: Humans seek balance in their lives. When things are out-of-order or imbalanced, it tends to cause problems. This is true particularly with regard to our internal state or well-being. Homeostasis refers to this tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state that is optimal for functioning. For example, you have a specific “balanced” or “normal” body temperature that is approximately 98.6 degrees. When there is a problem with the internal functioning of your body, this temperature may increase, signaling and imbalance. As a result, your body attempts to solve the problem and restore homeostasis; your normal body temperature.

Read more: http://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.php?term=Homeostasis#ixzz26ORs1ojU

So, in families and friendships, if the balance of things (eating crap) is messed up by a dieter, the system (family members and friends) will do things to try to bring the old balance back to the system, and this is usually done subconsciously through SABOTAGE.  If you are aware of this, you can fight it and eventually a new homeostasis is created and then there is less to fight.  You just have to wait it out and after maybe 6 months or more, people just get used to it.  This happens all of the time in life.

Learn to be ok with changing the system, being the rebel.  Be like Steve Jobs.  He was the rebel and now we have the IPhone and the IPad!

Remember! It is for the better.  What if your family was Bonnie and Clyde?  You would then just be a bank robber too?  If you have a heavy family and you fight the system, the good news is that at least you will be thin and maybe the side effect is that they will get healthier too.  So, think of it this way.  Your fighting the system could save not only your life, but the lives of your friends and family as well.  Be strong!

 

Hidden Carbs and Sugars

There are hidden sugars out there and they are making you fat!

Let’s talk about sugar!  Do you realize how much sugar is in the stuff you eat?  Don’t forget you don’t want to eat more than between 50 and 100 g of carbs in a day to lose weight.

Cereal.  Do you realize how many carbs are in a bowl of cereal?  Even the healthier ones like Special K has 25g of carbs per CUP (measure out a cup, it isn’t a lot!), and then you add milk right?  There are 10g of sugar in one cup of Special K.  That is approximately 4 packets of sugar in your cereal.  Would you go out of your way to eat 4 packets of sugar for breakfast?  So, why eat this cereal?  There is even more in the more sugary cereals!

A cup or 8 ounces of milk, full fat or even skimmed, has about 12 g carbs.  So, if you drink milk, that is also like 4 more packets of sugar.  So, you are basically eating 8 packets of sugar for breakfast.

So, for breakfast you are having about 36g of carbs or MORE, depending on how much you put in your bowl and about 8 plus sugar packets for breakfast.

Then, if you don’t lose weight eating Special K or any other cereal, and you are wondering why–it is because there are a LOT of carbs in cereal and milk.

I don’t eat cereal anymore.

I eat eggs, chicken sausage from Jenny O (available at many stores and in bulk at Costco), turkey bacon, regular bacon.  All of this NO carbs.  I pretty much eat these meats for breakfast daily.

You can buy low carb pancake mix from Lindora.com or Carbessentials.net or Netrition.com  You should work in the carb amount with the rest of your day’s food.  I don’t do these more than twice a week.

I will sometimes eat Lindora’s oatmeal at 19g minus 5 g of carbs, so net 14g  carbs per serving or you can buy some steel cut oatmeal and measure out a small amount to eat.  Steel cut is WAY better for you than instant, because there is more sugar in instant–like 13g (4 sugar packets)  vs. the 1g  (1/3 of ONE sugar packet) of steel-cut oatmeal like in McCanns Oatmeal.  Most regular oatmeal is 25g carbs minus 4g carbs is 21g net carbs. And you can use water in oatmeal.  Yes, it is not as creamy, but you can use a drop or two for taste.

If you must have toast, you can buy the low carb breads by Julian Bakery or look at the carb contents on the loafs.  Do you really want to waste over 15g of carbs on one silly slice of bread?  I would rather have my low carb oatmeal or pancakes or eat the lower carb bread than waste my time on a piece of high carb bread.  Look for high protein bread.  Your body needs protein to burn off the fat.

I eat hard boiled eggs a lot of the time because I am running out the door and I pop it in my mouth.  You can boil them yourself or you can buy them boiled and peeled at stores like Trader Joe’s and Costco!  One egg has about 6g protein and about 3g of protein for bacon.

There are few protein bars that are low in carbs and if you think that Pop Tarts or Granola bars are healthy….well:  Only 2-4g protein.

Pop Tarts:  JUST ONE ranges from 32 to 75g per tart!    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/nutrition-facts-calories/kelloggs-pop-tarts

Granola Bars:  serving size in a packet is two bars totaling about 27g of carbs.

Egg McMuffin:  29g carbs

Juice:  27g carbs in a cup and only 2g protein. SUGAR!  21g of sugar, about 7 sugar packets!  (Give your kids a piece of fruit instead–much less sugar and better for you).

Remember that you still have 3 protein snacks and 2 more meals (lunch and dinner) to go for the day.  So, consider your carbs wisely in the morning.  Could you imagine making an omelet with some veggies thrown in?  What a great way to start your or your family’s day!  Protein, little to no carbs and lots of vitamins and minerals.

Make wise choices and set your day up well!