Jan 30, 2010

Weekly Eats

So i'm a bit late posting what I ate last week but i've decided to simplify it a bit. I won't be posting each days meals. I'll post the more unique low carb eats, some recipes, and photos.


TUNA MELT


Simple, LC tortilla, tuna, and I think I used a few velveeta slices.



FAJITAS (which I eat about once a week!


Wen't to Chili's with the hubby. This is what I ordered. You can never go wrong with fajitas!-No tortillas of course-I do usually bring my own though but this time I forgot.


BACON MUSHROOM CEASAR SALAD (One of my faves!)


I looove this. I love raw mushrooms so this is perfect for me. Just a handful of raw mushrooms, ceasar dressing, and real bacon bits. Seriously, it is sooo good!



CAJUN CABBAGE



I'm a cabbage fan so I always try to incorporate it into my weekly diet. I made cajun cabbage this week. Chop up a whole head of cabbage. Fill a wok or frying pan with about an inch of standing water along with lots of butter. Put your cabbage in the pan. There will be a huge pile but it will cook down quickly. I added Tony Chachere's cajun spice to it, but just salt and pepper is really good too. Turn the pile every couple minutes till all the cabbage is tender...takes about 15 minutes or so. All done!



CHORRIZO BURRITO-Breakfast




CHIPOLTLE CHICKEN-seriously amazing! And no it's not burnt, thats the seasoning! lol


So my new favorite food product is this new chipoltle cheddar cheese that just came out. It is so good! I love chicken and I frequently stuff chicken breasts with all sorts of ingredients. It's so much more flavorful that way. So I cut a pocket into the chicken and put one slice of cheese in each chicken. Then, I coated my chicken with heavy cream (only because I had no eggs but this works perfectly fine-and also makes for more moist chicken) and then dipped it in dry marinade- Chipoltle Pepper from Grill Mates to be exact. You'll need a few packets to cover 3 or 4 large chicken breasts. I do this quite frequently. Since I can't do breading, I use dry seasoning packets to coat meats like you would breading. It works wonderfully! Bake as usual. When the chicken is done so much of the cheese will have spilled out if you don't put a a few toothpicks to close up the pocket. Thats ok though, just stuff all of it back in-no harm no foul. It is so delish!

Try this dry marinade strategy with lots of flavors and meats. Here's what I've got in my pantry right now.


I'm excited about the mojito lime! I want to marinade some shrimp and chicken in lime juice first then put the coating on there. Yuuummmmers!



I was craving an ice-cream type of thing and didn't have the ingredients for my mock-ice cream so I had to come up with something...and I was quite satisfied with my-

SUGAR FREE/LOW CARB CHOCOLATE VANILLA ICEE


So simple- I just took a handful of ice, a little bit of heavy cream and vanilla soy milk, and Da Vinci's sugar free chocolate syrup. Blenderized it and done! I can't tell you exact measurements bc I just based it on how thick I wanted it, plus it was very experimental, but man it was good!

Jan 20, 2010

Sugar Free/Low Carb Alcoholic Beverages

I have an 80's party to go to this Saturday which i'm LIKE TOTALLY excited for haha! I don't drink very often at all- the occasional party or holiday. Normally, I make an exception to my sugar free/low carb ways for a drink or two (or 4! hehe) at the party. The next day I usually spend extra time on the treadmill and eat more strictly.

I shouldn't have to do this anymore however, because people are finally clueing in to the needs of people like us living SFLC lifestyles!

If you make your own coctails, there are several recipes that cut out the sugar completly, without sacrificing on taste! You'll also be cutting out lots of calories that way too.

Here's a recipe for a Sugar Free Margarita


Ingredients:
•1 jigger (1.5 oz) tequila
•2 Tablespoons (1 oz) lime juice - bottled more convenient, fresh tastes a lot better
•1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) water
•1/4 teaspoon orange extract
•1 Tablespoon's worth artificial sweetener (try to use liquid, carb-free types)
•Ice - small handful
•Margarita salt or kosher salt
Preparation:
Wet the rim of the glass and dip into a small plate of salt.

Combine all ingredients. You can either serve it over ice (in Mexico I've usually been served it this way, but I can't say I've had extensive experience), or strained into the glass, or blended in a blender.

You can find this recipe and more here:
http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/alcoholicbeveragerecipes/tp/topcocktails.html


If you are a beer drinker there plenty of low carb options for you as well! Remember: NOT ALL LIGHT BEER IS LOW CARB!


Here are the top 10 beer brands with the lowest carb count.

1. Thin Ice 1g 12oz
2. Accel 2.4g 12oz
3. Aspen Edge 2.6g 12oz
4. Bud Select 3.1g 12oz
5. Natural Light 3.2g 12oz
6. Corona Light 5g 12oz (my fave!)
7. Coors Light 5g 12oz
8. Amstel Light 5g 12oz
9. Mikes Light Lemonade 6g 11.2oz
10.Bud light 6.6g 12oz

You can find a comparison chart as well as flavor characteristics here:
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art14302.asp

So there you have it! You can still stay reasonably low carb if you are well informed about what your low carb options are. I believe it is ok to splurge once in a while on special occasions, but if you can stay low carb and still have a good time, I think thats a better choice! No more guilt the next day!


As always, please drink responsibly and DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!

Jan 17, 2010

My SFLC Eats of the Week

So I have promised a weekly post about what I ate for the week. This will hopefully give you some ideas about how YOU can eat SFLC as well as demonstrate that I absolutely do not starve in this lifestyle, nor do I only eat meat and cheese. To be honest, for this week I wasn't too good at keeping up with every meal but next week I will write my meals down so I can really give you guys a thorough run through of my week. I also hadn't went grocery shopping for my LC stuff in a while so I wasn't working with much here. Next week there will there will be more variety. I'll be posting pictures of some of the things I eat each week, but most things don't need a "picture" explanation.

To give you an idea of what I'm up against-Here's a look into my familie's pantry.



Do I ever sneak a cookie or two?- no never! Why not? Because once you go No Sugar and get it out of your sytem, any processed sugar you put into your body is going to give you crazy cravings for it and you will likely "relapse" into your sugar eating ways. But mainly, I just know that this works for me, I've lost so much weight, I feel amazing, and
I love myself more than I love that cookie!

Monday

Breakfast: Eggs and turkey sausage

Lunch: BLT salad. Shredded lettuce, real bacon bits, and lots of mayo. No tomato only because I don't really like them, but if you do like them, in small amounts they are perfectly ok to eat.


Dinner: Turkey burger sans bunn and cheesy broccoli. I loaded it up with everything I'd put on my favorite burger (mayo,mustard,onion,pickle,cheese) and wrapped it with several pieces of large leafed romain lettuce hearts. So good!



Tuesday

Breakfast: Cheesy eggs

Lunch: Southwest Chicken Wrap. LC torilla with lettuce, turkey,southwest cheddar cheese, southwest mustard. Heated in a skillet to make the tortilla cripsy. Super delish! and it's huge!


Dinner: 3 hot dogs sans bunn and pork rinds


Wednesday

Breakfast: a huge glass of chocolate soy milk. It is absolutely amazing! Its the lowest carb choc. milk I can find. 1 Net carb per 8 oz. Soy Slender. This stuff really saves me when I have an urging for something sweet. I sometimes go through a carton a day! haha!


Lunch: Chicken ceasar salad sans croutons. I usually bake a few chicken breasts at the beginning of the week so use in salads throughout the week. Ceasar dressing is a low carb acceptable dressing. Yay... Because I love it!

Dinner: Salmon and green beans. I love green beans so I usually eat a whole can (fresh whenever I can but I didn't have any this week). I spread butter and lemon pepper seasoning on the salmon and then wrap it in tin foil. It cooks rather quickly that way. I know this sounds weird but I also love lemon juice on my green beans too!




Thursday

Breakfast: Nothing. I was not feeling well.

Lunch: I ate a leftover turkey burger and a small spinach leaf salad with balsamic vinagrette.

Dinner: Went out to eat and had a bacon cheesburger sans bunn at O'Charleys. I wasn't able to substitute my fries for veggies because I was ordering off of the 2 meals for 14.99 menu which I was pretty disapointed about, but oh well. The burger was very filling. 2 burgers in one day though...eh, oh well.


Friday

Breakfast: Breakfast burrito. LC tortilla with cheesy eggs, bacon, peppers, salsa.

Lunch: Tuna lettuce wrap. Tuna, mayo, diced purple onions, chopped boiled egg, wrapped in a big romain heart lettuce leaf. Had 3 of them actually!

Dinner: Pepperjack chicken (baked chicken breast stuffed with pepperjack cheese) and a big spinach salad with chopped boiled egg , bacon crumbles and balsamic vinagrette.


Saturday
I finally went grocery shopping Friday night so by saturday I could finally get a little more variety going!

Breakfast: Strawberries and blueberries and a dark chocolate LC specialty drink. They are called EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control. They are superduper delish and have only 2 net carbs per drink plus 17 grams of protein! With the strawberries this drink was especially awesome!


Lunch: 2 boiled eggs and BLT spinach wraps. Take a strip of cooked bacon and spread some mayo on it, then wrap the bacon around a bunch of spinach leaves. Really yummy! I make about 10 of them for lunch! haha.

Dinner: Fajitas! One of my favorite LC meals and soo super simple to make. I keep John Souls Chicken and Beef strips in the freezer for quick and easy meals (like this).I just chopped up some red and green peppers and some onions and started sauteing them in some olive oil. Then threw in the chicken and beef (it thaws quickly) and cooked it all together for about 15 minutes in a skillet and DONE. LC tortillas of course. LOTS of sour cream and homemade guacamole. Sooo good!



Sunday

Breakfast: Doin the "get ready for church hussle" so I just downed a LC chocolate drink. With it having so much protein, it keeps you suprisingly full. No disruptive tummy growls at church! whoohoo!

Lunch: We ate at MiMi's cafe. I ordered the quiche lorraine with a side ceasar salad. I only ate the inside of the quiche, not the crust of course.



Dinner: Well my husband felt like testing my temptation resisting abilities and decided to order pizza. haha. Actually, not once did I even think about taking a slice. I instead tried to figure out how to make something that could fulfill my pizza craving, what I came up with totally worked!

I took a LC tortilla and spread about 2 T. of spaghetti sauce on it. Loaded it up with mozzarella cheese and topped it with pepperoni. Heated it in a skillet for a few minutes to get it all melted and then folded it over and sliced it into triangles and TADA..my pizza craving got its fix for sure! This will definately be repeated!




Here are some of the things I snacked on this week:
Pork rinds, pistachios, slim jims, celery and peanut butter, small lettuce wraps with deli meat, vienna sausages, berries, string cheese, orange and yellow bell pepper slices, cottage cheese.


So there you have it. I wasn't able to get too creative this week due to my lack of LC groceries, but hopefully you can see that I can get a pretty good variety going even with the lack of options. Like I said before, with a little creativity you will NEVER feel like you are sacrificing while living SFLC!

Dessert Day Saturday

After giving you a guide to the low carb essentials for baking, I decided to spend my saturday baking some SFLC goodies. Not only to show ya'll how yummy SF can be but to also have a basket of goodies for myself to munch on throughout the week!

Here are some questions you may have:

Does it taste like regular desserts made with sugar?
Honestly, no. When you go sugar free and you want to make some goodies you are going to have to use artificial sugar. Some taste better than others and leave less of an aftertaste. Splenda works the best for me as far as baking quality and taste. However, if you are not used to artificial sugar it may take you awhile to except this as the new taste of your goodies. Its not a bad taste, just different. The thing is, when you go sugarless and your wanting to make goodies, you will probably very much learn to appreciate Splenda for what it is haha!

Why does everything look brown/tan?
We arent using the pretty white sugar anymore; we've switched to natural nut flour. Most everything will have a natural tan/brownish color that I have actually come to appreciate. It just LOOKS healthier-and it is!

Do I have to use the amount of sugar the recipe calls for?
No of course not. Actually, the less you can get away with the better. The taste of artificial sugar can be pretty strong at times so sometimes less just tastes better anyway.

OK, SO BACK TO THE DESSERTS!


This Saturday I kept it pretty simple. Here's what I made:

Spice of Life Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Peanut Butter Cookies (my families fave)
Spikey Sugar Cookies
Freez-um Fudge


Spice of Life Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting



1 Cup mixed nut flour 2 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp. salt 1/2 cup Splenda
1 tsp. cinnamon 1 T. veg. oil
1/2 tsp. nutmeg 1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ginger

Combine first 5 ingredients. Beat next 5 ingredients together then combine with the dry ingredients. Divide batter into lightly greased muffin pans. 350 for 12-15 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. The aroma from this is amazing. Reminds me of fall.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz softened cream Cheese
1/4 cup Sugar Free Da Vinci Vanilla Syrup OR Mix some Splenda into the cream cheese until desired sweetness.

Just mix together until lumps are gone and frosting is creamy. 4 carbs per cupcake.



No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies



1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) 1 tsp. Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum
1 cup Splenda 1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. Baking Soda 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
2 eggs

Mix ingredients together until it resembles fluffy peanut butter. Form into balls onto greased cookie sheet. You can press down "crossways" with a fork for a real peanut butter cookie look. 350 for 10-12 minutes. 3 carbs per cookie.


Spikey Swedish Sugar Cookies


2 cups nut flour 1 stick of butter
1 cup Splenda 1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 2 T. heavy cream

Mix first four ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Beat together butter, egg, vanilla, and cream and then add to the dry ingredients. You can leave dough as is (rough) or knead dough until smooth. I left mine rough so they have a "spikey" look. Drop by spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. 375 for 10-12 minutes.


Freez-um Fudge


3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 cup water
1-2 cups Splenda 2 T. butter
1 tsp. salt 1 T. chocolate extract (optional)
1 cup heavy cream

On medium heat, combine first 4 ingredients until bubbling. Remove from heat and add water a tiny bit at a time, along with butter and choc. extract. Blend completely. Pour into wax paper lined smaller square baking pan (8 or 9 in.) Freeze overnight and cut into squares in the morning! You must keep these frozen.

*I suggest using the lesser amount of Splenda for this one. I used 2 cups and it was a bit too sweet. Its a great chocolate frozen treat! The picture above doesn't look too appetizing probably, but thats because my hubby took it out of the freezer and left it out. It melted. But I took a pic anyway to give you some example of coloring.



And so that concludes my saturday SFLC bakeoff. I made everything in under an hour. Very simple recipes. This is a great place to start if this is your first SF baking experience. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

Happy SFLC baking!

Jan 14, 2010

What to Buy for Low Carb Baking

So if your a sugar free newbie or thinking about it, your probably thinking how awful life is going to be without cakes, and cookies, and candy, right? If you LOVE to bake (as do I), your baking days are not over. There are wonderful and delicious low carb recipes for deserts out there. However, your baking ingredients are going to change a bit.

Ok, so baking low carb is a bit different, but its not rocket science. It takes a little practice with some of the new ingredients that you've probably never worked with before but you'll become familiar with their baking properties as you use them more often. I would like to start posting recipes for some sugar free/low carb GOODIES! I do however, want to familiarize you to the ingredients you will be most likely using. Some of these you can find at your local grocery store, some are harder to find and you may need to visit your local natural foods market or even go online to search them out.

List of Low Carb Baking Ingredients

Nut Flours


Walnut flour, almond flour, coconut flour, hazelnut flour etc. All are substitues for your traditional flour, however, each of them have slightly different baking properties. I would say Almond flour is the most easy to use. I use a combination of hazelnut, almond, and coconut flour (a bit more almond than the rest) and I store it in a container together.(see below)


This stays in the fridge and I store the rest of the flours in the freezer. You can't leave these out like regular flour.


Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum


I use Xanthan Gum (pronounced "Zanthan"). You MUST have this to use the nut flours. Nut flours lack Gluten which is what makes breaks, cakes, cookies, etc. take formation and hold together. Xanthan gum is a replacement for gluten. It can also be used to thicken gravies and sauces instead of flour. A little big of this goes a long way in recipes. If you use too much, you'll notice a heavy or stringy texture in your baked goods.

As a general rule you will use 1 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum for every 1 cup of nut flour. (but you'll still have to experiment with it as you use different nut flours and bake different things.) Sometimes you'll need more, sometimes less.

Store this in the fridge or the freezer if you are going to be using it very infrequently.

Artificial Sweetener-SPLENDA
Most people do not like artificial sweeteners but in small amounts I am completely ok with it. If you want to bake and have goodies around your going to need some. Splenda is my favorite to use. It doesnt have a strong aftertaste, its low carb and low calorie. I have the large baking package and I also have the little individual packets (I carry some in my purse as well.) Splenda measures cup for cup like sugar so its pretty simple to use.


Those are the main ingredients for low carb cooking but here's some other things you'll want in your low carb baking pantry:

Plain Gelatin
Unsweetened Soy Milk (low carb as possible)
Heavy cream and Half-N-half
Cocoa Powder
Low carb or no carb soy protein powder
Powdered Egg Whites

Sugar Free Syrups (I use Davinci Syrups-they have to die for flavors! Use in deserts, coffee, etc) I get mine from a local natural foods market (Cooks, in Rogers, AR) but you can buy them online at http://www.davincigourmet.com/products/sugar_free_flavored_syrups/

Sugar Free/Low Carb chocolate chips (yes they exist!)-Try CarbSmart Semisweet chocolate chips. Youll have to buy these online. So worth it! You can find them here: www. carbsmart.com/minichips.html


So there you have it! These are the essentials for baking low carb baking. So go stock up and check back for delicious recipes for sugar free/low carb goodies!

HAPPY LOW CARB BAKING! <3

Jan 13, 2010

How to Eat Low Carb at a Mexican Restraunt


First of all I've decided to post my weekly meals and snacks at the end of the week instead of everyday. This will be easier for me for sure, but also give a nice summary of the week for everyone to kind of go through quickly, instead of looking at 7 different posts to get some ideas.

Now, I have a Mexican food themed night with my social group and of course, i'm thinking to myself..."What will I be able to eat?" or a bigger question "What can I bring that is low carb?"

You may think that doing low carb means basically ruling out Mexican food altogether. Well, it does probably mean ruling out Taco Bell...haha! But going to a Mexican restraunt is certainly not offlimits to the low carber. There IS more to Mexican food than tortillas, beans, and rice.



Here's a list of Mexican menu items that are acceptable for the low carber:

Guacamole and Queso-No chips of course, but ask for some veggie slices or jicama slices to dip.

Ceviche (one of my absolute favorites!)

Fajitas: No tortillas, but ask for extra peppers and onions and pile on the lettuce, guac, and sour cream baby! Oh, you may not be up for this if your a newbie, but I actually take 1 or 2 low carb tortillas into the restraunt in my purse. No one ever notices. Hey, you gotta do whatcha gotta do right!

Chili Verde

Chile Rellenos

Carnitas

Gazpacho

Tostada Salads-Skip out on the shell

Seafoods and Grilled Meats(Carne Asada)- Ask for veggie sides

And your welcome to eat tacos, burritos, quesadillas,taquitos-BUT JUST THE FILLING OF COURSE.

Sometimes you just gotta have a margarita when your at a Mexican restraunt. Most have sugar of course but some restraunts have a sugar free margarita or a traditional margarita-tequila, lime juice, and triple sec -- has 8 to 16 grams of carb, depending on the amount of triple sec. If you wish you can ask for it without the triple sec OR you can bring your own artificial sweetener -just pack it along with your low carb tortillas of course! haha :)


IF you are trying to make low carb Mexican food at home try to remember these tips:

-Replace flour tortillas with low carb tortillas

-Buy canned soy beans instead of refried beans

-You can thicken sauces with Xanthan Gum instead of masa.


SO back to my dilema: I have decided I will be bringing low carb Chicken Enchiladas to the Mexican dinner party. I will be replacing the flour tortillas for low carb tortillas. I may also bring a veggie plate so I can enjoy the cheesedip, and guacamole too! And As always, i'll probably be carrying a can of diet Dr. Pepper with me as well :)

Jan 11, 2010

Lunch and Snack Ideas

Here are some lunch and snack ideas to help get you through the toughest parts of the day...when cravings set in!


Wraps: Keep low carb tortillas on hand but try to limit LC tortillas to ONE or two a day.
peanut butter wraps
cream cheese wraps
Melted cheese wraps (add bacon for extra flavor)

Cabbage or romaine heart wraps: Get large pieces of cabbage or buy romain hearts and use them to make sandwiches. Put some mayo or mustard on the leaves then put deli meats, cheese, tomato, onion (whatever youd like), into the leaves then wrap it up.

A really yummy snack or lunch is to take lil' smokie sausages and heat them up in the microwave and melt some cheese over them. Wrap a big cabbage leaf around the cheesy sausage. Yummy!

Bacon Wraps: Take a strip of cooked bacon and spread some mayo on one side. Wrap the bacon around a bunch of spinach leaves and add a small piece of tomato if you want. Not quite a BLT but still really good!


OTHER SNACKS
boiled eggs
celery and peaunut butter
celery and tuna salad
cottage cheese and berries
nuts
beef jerky or slim jims
pork rinds
sugar free pudding (made with heavy cream, not milk. Freeze for a sugar free ice cream treat!)
string cheese or cheese cubes
Riccotta cheese and fruit and nuts
cheese and salami
Quesadillas
Mushrooms covered in ceasar dressing (I love!)
Fajitas (I keep chicken and beef fajita meat readily on hand!)
Yellow and Orange peppers are great snacks. They taste similar to fruit and are crunchy. I slice up a few peppers into strips and keep in ziplocs in the fridge.



HOMEMADE CHEESE CHIPS
Put small pile of cheddar cheese onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or so. Basically you want each chip to be crispy but not burnt. Remove from cookie sheet with metal spatula and place onto paper towels to get rid of any excess grease. This is really great when your having cravings for a crispy snack! Chips keep fresh in a ziploc bag for a few days.

OMLETE MUFFINS (great for breakfast, snack, or lunch)
In a large bowl, mix 8 or so eggs, and whatever meat you would want in your omelete (ham, bacon, sausage), cheese, red/green peppers, onions..whatever you like! Add a half a cup of heavy cream. Mix well and pour into pam sprayed muffin tins. Bake at 300 until the tops are a bit brown and a knife comes out clean when stuck in the middle.

You can keep these muffins in a ziplock bag in the fridge for up to a week. Pop a few in the microwave for breakfast or for a snack.

Salads are a great lunch option or even for a quick snack. I use balsamic vinegarette and Ceasar dressings. No Croutons though! Keep bacon bits, sunflower seeds, and boiled eggs on hand for quick salad garnishes.


There are also a huge variety of processed low carb or sugar free snacks that you can buy nowadays. I try to stay as much away from this stuff as I can but sometimes its not a bad idea if you just need some really easy premade snacks on hand. You can find low carb/sugar free diet bars and shakes pretty easily nowadays. But you may not be aware of the huge variety of low carb/sugar free snacks available to you because most of it is not sold in your average grocery store.

Check out these sites for some great sugar free/low carb snacks:

www.Diabeticdirect.com

www.Netrition.com (has the largest selection of low carb products. Their prices are competitive and shipping is very reasonable.

www.VitaCost.com) sells their low carb products at wholesale prices saving you over 40%.




Happy Snacking! Feel free to let me know if you come up with another great snack idea! I'd love to hear it!

Jan 10, 2010

The Basic Rundown of My Sugar Free/Low Carb Life



Leading a sugar free/low carb lifestyle can be compared to the Atkins diet. Actually you can find many great ideas and tips for acceptable foods on their website. However, I do not limit or restrict myself as much as that, and i've still lost so much weight and am a much healthier/happier person! I eat lots of fruit, I'm carb concious, but I do not count carbs, I never weigh food portions, although I do eat smaller portion sizes and always look at SERVING size! I have also changed many other eating habits to make for an even healthier lifestyle.




Here's the basic run down for anyone interested in how I eat...

I don't eat any processed sugar or snack foods. So no store bought candy, chips, cookies, soda, etc.  I eat as little artificial sugar as I can.

My Alternatives
-If i'm craving sweet I try to reach for low carb fruits. BERRIES mostly. (see below)

-Sometimes I'll buy sugar free products such as SF Jello to curb cravings, but I try to keep these products to a minimum. I'm more of a believer in whole foods. 

-I drink lots of flavored bagged teas which almost always contain 0 carbs/0 sugar. 

-I also do occasionally make low carb desserts by using artificial sugar. I always use Stevia as it is the most natural low carb alternative to sugar. Again, I really try to limit my artificial sugar intake, but sometimes you just need a good dessert!

-Most of my sugar intake comes from fruit (see below)



I don't eat any flour or grain products such as bread, pasta, oatmeal, crackers, cereal, granola, etc. 

My Alternatives
-I do buy nut flours such as Almond Flour, Coconut Flour, and Walnut Flour. Baking with them is a bit different, but you can make some great low carb recipes with them, such as pancakes, cookies, cakes, etc! It just takes some practice and figuring out how to make each work for your recipe.

-There are a few very low carb crackers that I indulge in on occasion. I buy WASA brand FIBER crackers. For a big cracker slice there are 6 net carbs. So occasionally I'll have one with some meat and cheese. Honestly though, i'm just as happy with the meat and cheese and so I usually just forgo the cracker altogether, and leave out those extra carbs. Still, if you want a crackery type thing, you do have some options!


I eat tons of fruits and veggies!
Most of my sugar intake comes from fruit. I do tend to shy away from bananas and other tropical fruits because they contain the most sugar. Berries contain the lowest sugar. Also, I try to limit fruit to the mornings so I can burn off the sugar throughout the day. Just a tip.

I eat pretty much all veggies, except for the starchy ones such as potatoes, beans, and corn...your body processes these just like sugar. I call them the belly veggies.



I do NOT eat low fat, but I do eat healthily
When you go low carb, I do not recommend going low fat! You can actually mess up all the awesome benefits (such as weight loss) that come with going low carb if you do. Your body needs to burn the fat for energy now that it's not burning the carbs! So don't feel the need to shy away from sour cream, butter, cream cheese, etc. However, i've taken a more whole foods approach lately and I've been really trying to NOT add things to my food if I don't have to. Not because of carbs or calories, but because i'm trying to really enjoy the food as it naturally is. Just my thing...and I feel healthier for it.



I eat most dairy foods
ALL Cheese-YES
Eggs-YES
Milk-NO
Soy Milk-NO
Almond Milk: Unsweetened 
Cream Cheese-YES
Cottage Cheese- Occasionally 
Ricotta Cheese- YES

I don't drink milk as it contains too many carbs and I just really don't actually like it that much. I drink unsweetened almond milk instead. I also use unsweetened vanilla almond in my tea and coffee. I eat cheese and some cottage cheese as well (just watch serving size/carbs).



With creativity, you will never feel as though you are sacrificing! 
You can live this lifestyle and EAT BIG. Visit my Facebook Page at Sugar Free Like Me, or Follow me on Instagram  @ "lowcarb_and_fitness" to see the delicious food i'm eating daily, as well as my fitness and wellness efforts. 




Click below for more ideas if your just getting started!

Low Carb Grocery List

Lunch and Snack Ideas

What to Buy for Sugar Free/Low Carb Baking




There are a ton of fun and yummy sugar free/low sugar/low carb goodies that you probably aren't aware of!
Search online for low carb products on sites such as Netrition, Julian Bakery, and LoCarb Connection!





Check out my Sugar Free/Low Carb Pinterest Board for TONS of amazing recipes and ideas for every meal and occasion!  


Low Carb Shopping List

Many people would be willing to try sugar free/low carb if they had guidance as to how and where to start. Its not difficult, but can certainly be overwhelming to start. This is a shopping list that I keep myself. I may not buy everything on the list everytime but its an excellent reference. Some of these items may not be essentials for the sugar free/low carb newbie but keep it on hand for when you are more comfortable with low carbing.

ALWAYS READ LABELS! Look first at the Carbohydrate content. Keep it as low as possible! Usually, if it is low in carbs it is low in sugar, but not always the other way around so ALWAYS CHECK THE NUTRITION LABELS!

SO IMPORTANT: THE TRUE CARBOHYDRATE COUNT IS THE CARBS MINUS THE FIBER. Carbs-Fiber=true carb count. High fiber will help you to widen the variety of foods you can eat.


Meat
Meat and Fish (all kinds but opt for leaner meats and try turkey instead of hamburger and sausage as a much healthier alternative)
Shellfish (all except imitation crab meat)
Deli Meat (watch labels - nitrate free is preferable)

Fruits and Veggies
Cauliflower
Green Beans
Artichokes
Spinach
Asparagus
Jicama
Broccoli
Yellow Squash
Zucchini
Okra
Spaghetti Squash
Onions
Green, Red, Yellow and Orange Bell peppers
Tomatoes (go easy on these as a general rule)
Cucumbers
Bean Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts
Radishes
Celery
Mushrooms
Lettuce
Bok Choy
Cabbage
Greens
Peppers (jalapeƱo, etc.)
Leeks
Snow Peas
Turnips
Eggplant
Tofu
Pumpkin
Raspberries
Strawberries
Blueberries
Blackberries
Cantaloupe
Lemons
Limes


Dairy
Heavy Whipping Cream
Half & Half
Sour Cream
Cottage Cheese
All hard and soft cheeses
Eggs (why is this considered dairy again?-oh well)
real butter (switch to real butter! Did you know that margarine is only one molecule away from being plastic? Yuck!)
cream cheese

Other Items used for snacks or low carb cooking
Sugar Free Jell-O
Sugar Free Pudding Mix
Diet Hot Cocoa (read labels)
Coffee
Tea
Water
Diet Soda
Crystal Light (mix is better than pre-made)
Sugar Free Kool-Aide
Low-Carb tortillas (read labels)
Flax Seed
Nuts
Pork Rinds
Nut flours and Guar or Xanthan Gum-(Not an essential this minute but when you get more comfortable with everything and want to start baking low carb you'll need this to replace the gluten in flour which you wont be using. I'll get into low carb baking later on)
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Protein Powders (no carb protein powders)
Splenda
Lemon juice
Davinci Sugar Free Syrups for deserts and coffee (health food stores or bought online)
Beef Jerky and Slim Jims
Peanut Butter(in moderation) but try almond butter too-sooo good!
Miso soup (you know that soup with tofu and seaweed that they serve as an appetizer at Japanese restaraunts? Well, its verrry low carb and really tasty! They have individual packets to make instant Miso Soup at Walmart in the Chinese Food section.
Tofu (extra firm is usually easier to work with)
Pickles (not the bread & butter pickles, just the sour ones)
Pepperchinis
Sugar Free Syrup to use on Mock Pancakes is fine (check carb content)
Cottage Cheese
Shredded parmesan cheese

Not a Diet, but a Lifestyle Change

I'm Jessica and I live a sugar free/low carb lifestyle. Some people think i'm crazy, and others want to know how I do it. This blog will be for both kinds of people. I'm here to prove that it CAN BE DONE and i'm here to show you HOW TO DO IT!



First of all, living sugar free/low carb is not a diet. Its a complete lifestyle change. I know, it sounds even scarier when I say it like that, but I'm not here to lie to you. Sure, you can cut out a few cans of soda each week and drop some weight. You can give up your favorite cafe latte, mochachocalattayaya that you pay a bazillion bucks for each morning and perhaps you will probably see some results. But why are you doing that....to lose a few pounds? If thats your only motivation then you perhaps may not succeed. How about losing weight, being healthier, having more energy, raising your metabolism, fighting harder against heart attack, stroke, and diabetes, lowering your caloric intake, feeling clearheaded and back to your old self again!



HERES WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW BUT NEED TO KNOW: Sometimes we feel sluggish, foggyheaded, and unenergized. So much of the time its your sugar habits that are causing you to feel this way. Your body is used to getting it's energy from the sugary, empty calories you consume. However, this is unhealthy for your body and the result is..you crash. When you live sugar free, your body's energy source is coming from the natural and healthy foods you are now eating AND (this is the best part) your body is now getting its energy from your FAT STORAGES! Thats right! When you are free of sugar, your body turns toward your stored fat as an energy resource and the result is constant weight loss. Add exercise and lots of water into that equation and you'll see terrific results.



I'm not going to "sugar coat it"(sorry, couldn't resist it! haha) but here's the truth. Because we are a sweet tooth society, this will probably be the hardest "diet" to start. Sugar withdrawls are not fun! If you are super strict and cut out all sugar and most carbs, you can look at probably having withdrawls for about a week. BUT, you can quicken the recovery process by drinking lots of water and getting lots of exercise. The more you exercise, the quicker your body will be FORCED to use that last bit of that false sugary energy. The more water you drink the faster you can expell it and get rid of it for good! You'll feel cravings like you never have before! You'll be in your goody pantry basically hyperventilating trying to tear open the box of Captain Crunch cereal! I know because i've been through it! Ridding your body of sugar is not easy. Thats because we eat SO much of it! The good news is, once your body is rid of sugar, you will hardly crave it. You will still have urges, but never as before, when you were eating sugar. It gets easier and easier to resist sugar the longer you are without it.



If your serious about losing weight, being healthier, and feeling the best you've felt in forever, then go sugar free/low carb! Why do I add the low carb part you may wonder? Well, because you can't go sugar free without going low carb. Starchy Carbohydrates are just sugar, and your body does not need them.



SO, TO GET STARTED YOU WILL NEED TO:

1. Rid your pantry of all junk food! If you have a family that will not be participating then lock that stuff up! Keep it as far out of your reach and vision as possible!



2. Go grocery shopping for the sugar free essentials to at least last you through the withdrawl stage.



3. Have some serious motivation for your goal: Weight loss and a completely new you! You will look and feel better than ever! This is your goal. YOU CAN DO IT!


More to come: Simple sugar free/low carb shopping list to get you started!


What you can expect from this blog: recipes, ideas, menus, food pictures, guidance, and motivation! I'd like to blog my daily snacks and meals at the end of the day (with pictures) to give you an idea of how I stay sugar free, as well as my personal experiences in dining out, dealing with holidays, and eating at friends. I feel that if you have a real life example of how to handle "sugary" situations, you'll be better equipped with resisting tempation. I am here for all questions and I hope I inspire many to make this amazing lifestyle change!

Comments system

Disqus Shortname