Today’s blog subject is dedicated to one of my friends in Pilates class.  She brought up a subject that is important to discuss in my blog because it comes up all of the time when people ask me how I keep the weight off.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating large amounts of sugar and carbs!  I do eat very well.  Salads twice a day.  Four servings of veggies a day (small ones), 2 small fruits a day, 6 protein-based foods per day, water, etc.  But, keep in mind that I want to keep my carbs between 50g to 100g per day.  Also keep in mind that it takes about 4g of sugar/carbs per 1 sugar cube.

We get conned into eating and drinking things based on their nutritional qualities, but in fact, they are LOADED in “unhealthy” amounts of sugar and carbs.  Trust me, I know.  I gained over 40 pounds at one time just eating “healthy foods”, without knowing the secrets behind their fat-causing carbs!

If you want to lose weight, you want to eat six protein-based “small” meals per day.  Here are 10 items to stay away from, but I mention how to do it with low-carb or replacements for them.  I am letting you in on my found-out secrets!



If you have a smoothie, it has to be more vegetables than fruits (fruits have a lot of sugar and carbs) and the size you drink has to be small.  Depending on what you put in your smoothie, perhaps about 4-6 ounces is enough.  Are your smoothies bigger than that and has a combination of high carb/sugar fruits in them?  A few berries, citrus–that is ok….but loaded in apple, banana–you are looking at a lot of carbs.  Some of the smoothies at a regular juice place, like Jamba Juice, have 67g of carbs (This is over 20 sugar cubes–would you eat 20 sugar cubes?)  in a basic 16 ounce smoothie.  If you are only supposed to have between 50-100g of carbs per day to stay thin, that is a lot for one drink.  There goes the rest of the carbs for the day!  Instead, I personally recommend eating real veggies and two small fruits a day.  Smoothies are really for people who can’t stand eating veggies and it is the only way to get it into your diet.  Don’t drink orange juice–eat an orange.


Loaded up with granola (NOT A HEALTH FOOD–way too much sugar.  Use plain nuts instead).  I never eat granola.  A lot of people see it as a health food.  NOT!  It has 38g of carbs in just half of a cup!   An Acai Bowl has about 125g of carbs between the granola and the banana, etc.  These are not diet foods.  WATCH OUT FOR NUTS:  20g or so in carbs per cup.  Limit them or measure and bag them in advance when used for a snack.  My snacks usually consist of a few nuts and cheese (little to no carbs in cheese).  Western Bagel has a low carb bagel called the Perfect Ten, that is usually a special breakfast item for me out of my usual eggs.

Stay away from cereal.  Mostly carbs, sugar and chemicals.  Try oatmeal instead, but keep it to a small serving because it is high in carbs.  Read the labels.

Also, muffins have grains.  Grains are higher in carbs.  I don’t care if it is a bran muffin or a blueberry muffin–it is still a muffin. It wiIll add to a muffin top, if you know what I mean.


Has a lot of sugar and carbs.  Instead, eat fruit.  2 small amounts of fruit per day.  If you eat a banana, one serving is HALF of a large banana.

4.  RICE:  

High carb, little nutritional quality–even the brown stuff.  Quinoa is better, but it is also high carb, so limit it to a few spoons worth in a serving.  A cup of Quinoa is over 100g of carbs.  As high as rice.  Also, rice has arsenic in it.  Yuck!  ALSO RICE CAKES ARE HIGH IN CARBS TOO!

5.  WRAPS:  

Bread products of all kinds are high in carbs.  I don’t eat sandwiches either.  A slice of bread can be around 30g of carbs. Some of the lower carb breads like Ezekiel, is about 10g EACH slice.  But, a medium sized wrap is about 22g of carbs.  I eat salads with meat and other proteins on them or a sandwich or burger that is wrapped in lettuce and not a bun or wrap.  Watch out for tortillas too, unless they are the specific low-carb ones, which you can see at any store, even Trader Joes.  A regular tortilla can be over 30g of carbs, but a low carb one can be about 5g net carbs, once you factor in the fiber.

Watch out for JUICE.  It is just liquid sugar.


All laden with high carbs.  Only get ones that are low carb.  Less than 20g of carbs is best.  Or you can factor in fiber.  Look at the total carbs and subtract the fiber and you have net carbs.


Very high in carbs if you pick the wrong one.  Buyer beware.  Some of them are only 10g of carbs.  So choose wisely and look at the nutritional labels.

Most of the low-cal frozen foods are high carb and will put weight on you.  Just look at the labels.  They are also loaded in sodium (as is canned soup) and are not good for your heart.


Some of them are so high in sugar and carbs, it should be illegal.  You could be looking at 20-30g of carbs per cup.  Greek yogurt has better options and if you choose the ones that are unflavored, there are hardly any carbs. There are a few products like Danon Lite and Fit Greek Yogurt flavored,  with only about 10g or less of carbs per cup.

Frozen yogurt is laden in sugar, carbs and a lot of really nasty chemicals.  There is nothing “yogurty” about it.  You are better off having a no-sugar added scoop of Dreyers or Breyers ice cream.  Breyers Carbsmart ice cream bars are delish and low in carbs.  I get them at Ralphs, Smart and Final, and Wal-Mart.

9.  BEANS:

Yes, they are good for you–in small amounts.  A tablespoon is about 8g of carbs.  A cup of them is about 120g of carbs.  So, your burrito with the high carb shell, high carb beans and high carb rice will easily top you over 100g of carbs for your one very healthy organic Chipotle burrito.  I always do a salad version, limit the beans, no rice.

10.  AGAVE!


One of the more popular “natural” sweeteners is Agave nectar, also called agave syrup.You will find this sweetener in all sorts of “health foods,” often with attractive claims on the packaging.

The problem with Agave is that it is no better than sugar. In fact, it is much, much worse…

One of the main problems with sugar is that it has excessive amounts of fructose, which can cause severe metabolic problems when consumed in excess.

Whereas sugar is about 50% fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup about 55%, Agave contains even more… up to 70-90%.

Try Stevia or just use natural sugar, in moderation, because sugar is not good for losing weight.  And if you are putting fruit in your smoothie (and I don’t recommend smoothies and I don’t do them anymore), then you have enough fructose sugar from the fruit, so why add more?  Stop being a sugar junkie!

Eat Better Chocolate Choices for Valentine’s Day!

I haven’t blogged in a week. That is an eternity for me. The reason is because I have been readjusting my newer thyroid medication and I have been feeling nauseous and jittery.  I am starting to feel better today.  I am still the same weight and want to get down a few pounds.  I have cranked up the exercise and I am watching my food, but now that my thyroid is working properly again, it will begin to get easier.  I already feel it.

I had to write because tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  It is usually a day for flowers and chocolate.  Let’s talk about chocolate.

Some chocolate products are more high in carbs and sugar, than others.  You can have chocolate, but you have to be careful in your choices.

I prefer trying to stick to protein bars with chocolate, because protein is essential to keep your weight down by filling you up and keeping you from feeling hungry.

My choices of protein bars (and some have fiber, which helps reduce the carb count to net carbs):


Power Crunch (I get mine cheap at Vitacost.com, but they are at Smart and Final and Trader Joes)

Nature Valley PROTEIN Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Bar (but has GMOs: see them at Target))

Kind bars (some–check carbs, some are too high)

and one that is delish, but not high in protein, but very low net carbs and is available at some markets and online is the Amberlyn BELGIUM chocolate bars, which is no sugar (for diabetics), but so tasty, even my chocolate connoisseur friend, Anne–she LOVES it.  I found them in  roadshow at Costco and I am hooked.  Some low or no sugar chocolate tastes weird or chalky….not this one!

Give those you love some chocolate, but make sure it is not going to ruin their diet.  They can have their chocolate, and eat it too (but check portion sizes and carb counts).



A Taste Of Fall in Your Coffee

My sister-in-law recommends International Delights Sugar Free Creamer in Pumpkin Pie Spice
(in the refrigerator section) – “you just need a splash to have a taste of Fall !”

1 Tablespoon 20 cals, 2 g fat and 1 carb

You have to get the sugar-free one – the regular has 6 carbs per tablespoon!!

They also have a sugar free version in Coffee Mate,bench she tasted and it was far too spicy for her. She said that this one is much smoother than than Coffee Mate.


Thanks, Denise!

Where to buy it: where to buy it

Be careful when buying flavored creamers. Look at labels. Most are laden in sugar and carbs and you could be putting on weight with flavored drinks. There are sugar-free versions with little to no sugar and carbs.

Sugar-Free and Tasty Granola

A lot of people complain that if they have oatmeal or Greek yogurt, that it is a bit too bland for them. I tell them that they can put one of their two daily small servings of fruit in their yogurt or oatmeal. You can also use nuts, bit read the nutrition label for the carb count per serving size. But, some people want granola. Granola is a no-no as a healthy diet or maintenance food.

Many people think that granola is a health food. Well, with all of the sugar in regular granola, you will wind up gaining weight with it. But, there is a recipe for sugar-free granola. This sugar-free recipe has 4g of net carbs per half a cup. granola has about 32g of carbs, 6g of fiber (26g net carbs) and 5g of protein, and 12g of sugar–which is like eating three sugar cubes.

So, I decided to try a sugar-free type of granola. It wasn’t hard to make.

This recipe has no fruit. I hate fruit in my nuts. But, if you want to throw in a few raisins, go ahead, but keep it to a minimum. Raisins are high in sugar and carbs. A half a cup of raisins is 66g of carbs and 48g of sugar or 12 sugar cubes. Seriously! Just half a cup of them! Dried fruit is a weight gainer!

So, feel free to substitute any nuts or seeds you like in this recipe, but the flax meal is essential, and the coconut is helpful. These will absorb the liquids and this is what will form the clumps — otherwise you just have toasted nuts and seeds with some flavoring.

Yield: 12 Servings


  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free maple-flavored syrup



1. Heat oven to 300 F. Cover baking sheet with sides with a silicon mat or greased parchment paper.

2. Roughly chop the nuts.

You can do this in a food processor, but if you do, start with the harder nuts — the almonds in this recipe or filberts (hazelnuts) if you use them. \
3. Melt the butter or coconut oil – you can microwave it in the bowl you’re going to use for mixing (although you can mix right on the baking sheet), if you wish.

4. Mix the syrup and coconut oil or butter together.

5. Combine the nuts, coconut, seeds, and salt. If you’re doing this on the baking sheet, add the water first and mix (hands work best), and then the oil/butter and syrup mixture. Otherwise, just combine it all in a bowl and turn out onto the baking sheet. Press into an even layer.

6. At this point, it’s good to taste it. It’s going to end up tasting a little less sweet, so judge your own desire for sweetness and add more if you want.

7. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Twice during the baking, stir the mixture with a large spoon and press back down. After the second time, don’t move it around any more. Bake until fragrant and lightly browned on the surface.

8. Let cool completely in pan. It will crisp as it cools. Store in sealed container. Serve with yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. If you like, add dehyrdrated blueberries or strawberries.

Make about 6 cups — 12 servings. (half a cup servings)

Nutritional Information: Each serving has 4 grams net carbs plus 6 grams fiber (10 grams total carbohydrate), 7 grams protein, and 292 calories.

Here are the pictures that I took of the process from the mix, to on the sheets, cooked and put in the jar.








Low-Carb Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookie Recipe

Today, I am in the mood for a good cookie recipe.  I rarely eat cookies, but sometimes I need one.  And I want it to not ruin my diet.  I have not tried this yet, but the reviews online are awesome and I will try it this weekend after I get a few ingredients!  6 g of carbs, 2 grams protein.


Mrs. Fields regular chocolate chip cookie is 28g of carbs, 2 protein and look at all of the ingredients.  Most are NOT good for you.  I am putting up the one with chocolate chips and walnuts to be similar to this recipe.

Taken from the Mrs. Fields website:

Enriched Bleached Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Dextrose, Milk Fat, Soybean Lecithin, Natural Flavors), Brown Sugar, Sugar, Unsalted Butter, Margarine (Palm Oil, Soybean Oil, Water, Salt, Mono & Diglycerides, Soybean Lecithin, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Vitamin A Palmitate, Beta Carotene, Whey), Walnuts, Whole Eggs, Canola Oil, Water, Fructose, Monoglycerides, Salt, Natural Flavors, Wheat Fiber, Food Starch, Soybean Lecithin, Baking Soda, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum.


(Besides all of the filler, preservatives, etc.  It has Brown Sugar, Sugar, Fructose (three sugars) and Margarine (not healthy), natural and artifiical flavors, food starch and bleached wheat.)

My healthy recipe is simple and better for you~


Dark Chocolate Almond Drop Cookies

  • Gluten-free & dairy-free
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 3/4 cup natural sweetener (or use Splenda or Truvia baking blend)
  • 1 large egg (or 1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp water)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate pieces


Pre-heat oven to 350° F, combine first 5 ingredients and stir, add chocolate.

Drop rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Let cool, then enjoy.

Low Sugar and Carb Toppings

Walden Farms makes outrageously tasty toppings and syrups for those who are either on a low sugar, low-calorie or low carb diet or are just diabetic.  You should try one or more and there is a sale right now on Vitacost.com.  There are some stores that carry some of the products, but you should check it out.   Any order over $45 has free shipping.  Chocolate sauce, jams, pasta sauce, salad dressing, etc.






Pancakes That Will Keep You Skinny

After two years of dodging illness, I caught a cold.  Today I am starting to feel better.  I still ate well, but I felt like I needed pancakes.  Did I go off the diet?  NO!

I ate my Lindora.com pancakes.  They are so good.  I have tried a lot of different low-carb syrups and STILL my favorites are Maple Farms Sugar Free Pancake Syrup (gluten-free and Splenda-sweetened) and Cary’s.  Both are about 12g of carbs per quarter cup of syrup vs. 50g per two tablespoons of regular sugared maple syrup.

But, while investigating for this blog, I discovered that Maple Farms makes a pancake and waffle mix that is only 8g of carb per 1/4 mix (more for the Lindora version).  So, I am going to order it and try it and report back.  If it is as delicious as the Lindora version, I am happy.  It will be cheaper too and still loaded with protein at 11g per 1/4 cup!

The site where you can buy these things if you can’t find it at a store and where I will buy my mix (Ralph’s market had the syrups):  Netrition.com  http://www.netrition.com/maple_grove_pancake_mix_page.html

And I found packets that you can bring with you to restaurants for syrup:  http://www.shopwell.com/walden-farms-pancake-syrup-ready-to-serve-packets/honey-syrup/p/7245713399