Feb 23, 2010

Recent Favorites

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been continuing with my low carb lifestyle, however, lately I haven't gotten very creative with it. I'm a pretty busy person and so sometimes I just stick with what I know I like and whats easy, and thats it. I really need to break out and try lots of different recipes like I used to. I'm going to make that a goal for the weeks to come.

Here are some of my SFLC items that i've been enjoying lately:

WASA Crackers


Each slice contains only 6 net carbs and zero sugar. The ingredients is also very appealing to me because for one, I can actually pronounce everything and I also KNOW what they all are. And secondly, I try my hardest to eat lots of foods made with very little ingredients. This ensures a very natural and healthy diet. Its not always possible of course, but I TRY.

The ingredients are: Whole Grain Rye Flour, Wheat Bran, Sesame Seet, Oat flakes, water, Wheat Germ, Wheat Fiber, Salt.

If your thinking it sounds totally boring and void of taste, your not entirely right, but your not entirely wrong. Yes, they don't have a lot of flavor, but if you are low carbbing and craving a crispy snack or perhaps cheese and crackers, then this is a perfect solution. It's kind of all about what you put on them. I bought some Smuckers sugar free blackberry jelly and spread about 2 tablespoons on one slice for a breakfast treat. These are also great because when you go low carb, you have to be creative about getting adequate amounts of fiber. This is a great way to get more fiber indeed!
I reccommend keeping it to one or two of these crackers a day.



KIKKOMAN Instant Miso Soup



I'm a big fan of Miso soup. This is the seaweed and tofu soup that usually comes as an appetizer before your meal at a Japanese restraunt. Its very flavorful and good for you!
You can buy instant Miso soup at Walmart. It comes in a large packet with 3 individual soup packets included.

0 Sugar and only 3 carbs per packet.

I add extra tofu (extra firm) for a little bit more substance and protein. This makes a great snack or lunch! Sometimes I eat this twice a day! I loooove me some Miso!



Peanut Butter and Celery Wrap



I've always loved peanut butter and celery but somehow this week I got the genius idea to combine it with a low carb tortilla and PRESTO! The PB Celery Wrap was born! Simple, just spread PB on a small LC wrap or half of a large wrap and roll up a piece of celery in it. I'm kind of addicted to these right now. haha!


My Drink Indulgences


I love hot tea and flavored coffee. There are some super luxurious tasting teas out there with 0 sugar and 0 carbs! My favorites right now are Lipton French Vanilla and Lipton Vanilla Caramel Truffle. I usually add one packet of Splenda to each cup of tea. I'm doing a few cups of these a day just because they are so good!

I also love flavored coffee, but until recently, French Vanilla Cafe was the only coffee mix available in Sugar Free. Now they have Suisse Mocha Cafe available in SFD. It is like drinking a cup of chocolate...which to me is absolutely heavenly of course! You can use water, but I use soy milk for a thicker richer taste. If you are still drinking milk however, your consuming more carbs, but 1 cup isn't going to do a lot of damage of course. I usually have a cup of this in the morning and sometimes at night if I get a sweetooth attack and need a guilt free fix.

2g of Carbs per 1 1/3 tablespoon.


Real Bacon Bits (prepackaged)


I'm a bacon lover through and through! I used to cook a couple of batches of bacon a week to use for sandwhiches, scrambled eggs, etc. Well, I don't know why I was doing that! I have now started using prepackaged real bacon bits for those simple put together meals. Its so easy to cook up some cheesy bacon eggs in the morning when I don't have to cook the bacon first! I also add some to my husbands sandwiches, which he really enjoys! And Quesadillas are a sinch and much more flavorful this way.

If you love bacon and want a quick and easy way to add it to your food, I suggest keeping a few packs around!



BREYERS Carb Smart Ice Cream Bars



I usually don't indulge much in processed goodies but sometimes you just have to have some ice cream! I'd go nuts without my little pleasures now and again. Well these are perfect for a guilt free splurge!

Made with Splenda, it only has 5g of sugar per bar and only 7g Net Carbs! I am in love with these! Of course, eat these in moderation as well. One a day or even once every other day (which is what I'm doing) is fine though.


I'll be getting into a more creative cooking spirit this week I'm sure!

STAY SWEET AND SUGAR FREE EVERYONE!

Feb 4, 2010

I challenge you to be sugar free! THE REAL BENEFITS




Here's my challenge:

Go sugar free for 30 days. Eliminate refined sugar from your diet. No breads, flour, potatoes, cookies, candy, cola, etc. Eat only low GI fruits. A huge myth is that if you go low carb, you basically have to become a meataholic. This is so not true. I actually only eat meat probably twice a day. The bulk of my meals are fruits and LOTS of veggies, lean meats,nuts and berries, eggs, cheeses and soy products, and occasionally very low carb/sugar free foods, such as a low carb tortilla, or highly fiberous foods that cancel out the carbohydrates.

Remember...the net carb count is CARBOHYDRATES - THE FIBER. Thats how you find out how many carbs a product has. Another rule of thumb is that typically, if a product is low in carbs-its low in sugar, but it is not always the other way around, so ALWAYS check food labels! I typically don't eat anything that has over 10 grams of carbs in a serving. And I dont eat hardly ANYTHING with processed sugar. I rarely use sugar substitues, unless I am baking, or buy a must use/have product with Splenda in it. For the most part, my diet is "all natural" I guess you could say.

Another important thing to remember and it also makes this lifestyle more appealing, is that when you go low carb and arent consuming sugar, there is no need for low fat. Eat as much butter, sour cream, cream cheese, etc. as you'd like. Your body processes fats at a much faster rate now that you have no sugar in your body. Fat is now its main source of energy and you do not want to deprive your body of that.


How hard will it be to get started? What will my body go through?
In the beginning you will go through some withdrawls. Headaches, fatigue, and very difficult cravings for sugar... This will last anywhere from 2 days to a week. By exercising and drinking lots of water, you can make the process of eliminating the sugar from your body much quicker. DO NOT GIVE UP! Trust me...after the withdrawls are over, you will feel amazing!


INSTANT GRATIFICATION-SOME VERY GOOD NEWS HERE!

After the withdrawls are over and you have successfully rid your body of sugar (yippee!) you will almost immediately begin to notice the benifits to this lifestyle. These benefits will have varying degrees for everyone but most likely you will experience on a very positive level that will keep you very encouraged to continue this lifestyle.

-Your sugar cravings will be drastically reduced. This lifestyle will seem so much more simple when your sweet tooth has been "extracted" haha!

-You will have much less "hunger pains." This is one of my favorite things about being sugar free. I almost never "feel" hungry. When you live on sugar and carbs, your body uses this as your main energy source. When you are running low, your body responds by sending a chemical to your brain that basically acts like the gas light in your car that comes on when your running low on gas. Its telling you..."You need to refuel! I'm running low.. Hurry hurry!" When your body is sugar free, your body's energy source comes from "good sugars" like fruits, proteins, and your fat storages! That is the best part! Your body turns your fat into energy! Yep, its true :) Sounds glorious doesn't it?! The result, is that your body doesn't start freaking out when your hungry. I kid you not, I can go a whole day without "feeling" hungry. I eat because I know I need to, but the urge just isn't there.

-Headaches and fatigue will DRASTICALLY be reduced, and sometimes eliminated. I used to have chronic headaches and migraines. I find, that only RARELY do I ever get a headache anymore, and never once since I have started this lifestyle have I gotten a migraine. This fact alone has been life changing for me. Fatigue was also something I struggled with daily. I used to have so many times during the day that I wanted to take a nap. My engery just seemed to fluctuate so much. This is not so anymore. I still have an internal body clock that causes me to get a little sleepy around 2pm or so, but for the most part, my energy level stays pretty high all day. Without the constant rises and declines in sugar levels in your body, your body is able to cruise at a comfortable level of energy that you will find invigorating!

-Less mood swings and even a clearer, focused, and improved mental state. It might sound like I'm reaching here but this is real. I'm gonna get a little scientific on you. By keeping the sugar levels in your body under control, you are maintaining adequate levels of seratonin, which is a chemical in your brain that affects your moods. Low seratonin levels can cause anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, depression, etc. When your body is low on seratonin it automatically wants to remedy the situation-with sugar. Thats when cravings set in. The problem with using refined sugar as the remedy is that your body uses this energy up very quickly, and then when it's gone..you crash! When you have a firm grip on your blood sugar and your seratonin levels, your body doesn't have these rapid ups and downs caused by sugar, which will result in a more elevated and even keeled mood and improved sense of well being. THIS IS A BENEFIT FOR NOT ONLY YOU BUT FOR EVERYONE AROUND YOU :)


-Rapid weight loss followed by steady weight loss. If you go cold turkey and all together stop eating sugar and carbohydrates, I can almost guarantee you a 10-15 lb weight loss in 2 weeks-without exercise. I said "almost" because yes, this will be different for everyone, but it is super common for this to be the case. Now, you don't want to keep the good sugar from your diet. Fruits and veggies need to be a HUGE part of your diet. After your initial "BIG WEIGHT LOSS" from the good shock that your body has from adjusting to this no sugar lifestyle (by burning up all your sugar and turning on your fat storage as it's new source of engergy) you will then be on a slower steady fat burning process. You may need more exercise at this point, but I am a firm believer in adding exercise into the equation of any "diet" or lifestyle. There are only added benefits by doing so. However, you will keep that steady weight loss going as long as you are sugar free.


-You will actually be a much healthier person. Sugar is so damaging to our bodies. You will be fighting and preventing a slew of diseases, cancers, mental problems, obesity, etc. just by going sugar free. You'll also be consuming much less calories which is an added benefit for your body and your belt size!

-I have noticed a drastic positive change in my skin since going sugar free. There have been studies that have shown that your skin's appearance can improve by going sugar free. I actually did not know this until after I went sugar free, but yes, for me this has been very true. I cannot say whether this will be true for everyone though, but I can almost guarantee you that the opposite will NOT be true.



So, how does my challenge sound? The benefits far outweigh the small and quick satisfaction that you'll have from munching on that donut I promise you- and you won't even crave that donut after a few days! If your one of those people who thinks they could NEVER give up their breads and sodas, and cookies and candy..let me tell you this. You are so wrong. You do NOT love sugar as much as you think you do. Your body is lying to you. Eliminate the sugar-eliminate the craving for it.

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