Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese

I got this recipe from foodnetwork and will absolutely try this one!

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt, as needed, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, plus 1/2 cup for topping the casserole
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Special equipment: 8 by 8-inch baking dish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with salt.

Spray the baking dish with vegetable oil spray.

Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and pat between several layers of paper towels to dry. Transfer the cauliflower to the baking dish and set aside.

Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, and whisk in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, salt, pepper and garlic and whisk just until the cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, pour over the cauliflower, and stir to combine. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until browned and bubbly hot, about 15 minutes. Serve.

Recipe courtesy George Stella

Need a Good Weight Loss Supplement? Try CLA Burn by Alora!

Let me start off by saying I am not one to talk a lot about weight loss supplements but when we received this one in our store (nutrition house) I was very impressed.  It’s called CLA Burn by Alora.  The reason I love this product is because it has all of the ingredients that I would recommend by itself and this product has them all!  Let me start by saying that this product has fat burners, energy boosters and stress busters!  I am going to break it down a little for you and why I love this product.  First it is All natural, Soy free, GMO free, Gluten free and sweetened with Stevia not artificial sweeteners.  Let’s look at the ingredients and know that they are all standardized extracts which means they guarantee their potency:

CLA (2000mg): CLA is derived from 100% pure safflower oil.   It inhibits the absorption of fat by blocking an enzyme called lipoprotein which helps the body absorb fat into cells.  Think of fat melting this way: When you put fat in a frying pan and turn on the fire, what happens? The fat heats up and melts.  This process happens in the body when fat is broken down or lipolysis occurs (lipo = fat; lysis = break down), and energy is made to create heat, or thermogenesis.  That’s how exercise works to melt fat: Exercise expends energy, which creates heat.   It reduces body fat while maintaining lean body mass.

Green Coffee Bean (350mg): Extracted from the green coffee bean (unroasted coffee beans) this contains the active ingredient Chlorogenic Acid (CA), which helps to burn fat.  (Most of the CA is removed when roasting coffee beans.)    Studies show that it can reduce the absorption of carbohydrates from the digestive tract, which lowers blood sugar and insulin spikes.  Some studies have shown that CA can reduce fat absorbed from the foods you eat as well as reduce fat stored in the liver.  It can also improve the function of the fat burning hormone adiponectin.  On top of this CA has also been shown to drastically improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Cissus Quadrangularis (250mg): This supplement has been shown to decrease body fat composition, decrease waist circumference, improve blood sugar control, and reduce appetite in humans.  It may also reduce the absorption of fats and carbohydrates, blocking these calories from entering the blood stream through the intestines.  It also may further increase lean muscle mass and promote muscle building, helping to support increased metabolism.

Green Tea Extract (200mg): I talk a lot about green tea for its anti-oxidant properties as well as to reduce stress and increase energy but it is well known for its fat burning properties.  Know that you would have to drink 5-7 cups of green tea to get somewhat close to this amount.

L-Theanine (50mg): Extracted from green tea, L-Theanine helps to reduce stress levels.  Remember that it is difficult to lose weight when you are stressed because your body is in a fight or flight response and it stores fat automatically because it doesn’t know how long you are going to run or fight so it HAS to store fat for future energy.  L-Theanine is also a known fat burner.

Astragin (50mg) (Astragalus & Ginseng): Increases bioavailability of the above ingredients as well as increase energy and support the immune system.  The increased bioavailability of all the nutrients present in this formula makes it even more efficient at producing the desired effects of fat burning, increased energy, endurance and recovery.

What a great synergistic combination of ingredients to help you lose weight!  If you are interested in trying this, let me know and I will let you know what nutrition house store carries them that is closest to you.

Proper Digestion is Vital for Weight Loss

One of the secrets to weight loss is proper digestion. The fat collecting around your mid-section is a reflection of the direct relationship between sluggish digestion, slow metabolism and weight gain. By increasing digestive efficiency you can effectively shed extra fat, boost metabolism and support nearly every other area of health in the process.  Digestion is at the very center of our core health. It sets the foundation for health, happiness and well-being. We now have greater insight into the many roles digestion plays in immunity, hormonal balance, and even mental and emotional health. Traditional healing practices around the world have long recognized these relationships. In fact, some Eastern medical systems treat nearly every disease by addressing the digestive system. When we optimize our digestion, everything else comes into balance including your weight.

“Optimal digestive function means we’re breaking down food properly, absorbing enough of the right nutrients and eliminating the waste that we don’t need. It’s a very organized, efficient and meticulous process. But we need energy to perform these tasks, and much of that energy comes from nutrients we digest. It seems like a bit of a catch-22: We need energy in order for our digestive system to break down food, but we get much of that energy from food. If digestion is sluggish, we can’t break down nutrients properly to get more energy. This creates a vicious cycle that leads to a type of malnutrition in our cells, tissues and organs. Wastes build up, you retain water and your body converts excess calories to fat, since the body isn’t digesting them properly.

Usually, this cycle starts with unhealthy dietary habits: eating too many processed foods that hinder digestive function by depleting our enzymes, probiotics and other factors critical for strong digestion. Unhealthy foods, particularly refined sugars, also spike glucose and insulin. The result is inflammation — another major culprit in weight gain and slow metabolism.”  Dr. Isaac Eliaz

Basically every food group needs a specific enzyme to break it down and be absorbed.  Amylase breaks down starches, protease breaks down protein, lipase breaks down lipids (fats) lactase breaks down lactose (milk sugar) etc.  Let’s use lactose intolerance as an example that most of us have heard of.  Lactose is simply 2 milk sugars attached to each other.  It requires lactase (the milk digesting enzyme) to break it down into single molecules.  Humans are the only species that drink milk past the weaning stage and who drink milk from another species so we are not well designed to drink milk because many of us stop producing lactase past the weaning stage.  When you cannot break down a food, it sits in the gut and causes gas and bloating.  Over time if you are not paying attention to this, it could wear down the gut lining causing leaky gut syndrome and over a longer period of time, could cause autoimmune issues.

You know when your mouth waters just thinking about food?  That’s amylase, your starch digesting enzyme which is produced in you saliva and your pancreas.  That’s your body preparing for digestion.  The pancreas secretes all 3 types of enzymes so if you don’t have a pancreas you are going to have digestive issues, especially when it comes to fat and protein.

So what to do?  The first thing you should do is rule out food intolerance’s.  Eliminate all milk and milk products from your diet as well as gluten, corn and soy for at least 10 days to 2 weeks.  Then drink a huge glass of milk and see how you feel.  Did you get gas and bloating?  If so then you probably have an intolerance to dairy.  Add back each food group separately so you know which food is the culprit.  Don’t ignore the signs because food intolerance’s can cause a plethora of issues down the road as mentioned above.

It’s also possible that you don’t have enough enzymes in your gut to break down your food.  The truth is, most of us think that we have too much acid in our guts thus giving us heartburn where the truth is actually quite the opposite.  In most cases, you do not have ENOUGH digestive enzymes to break down your foods.  The churning action of the stomach muscles physically breaks down the food. The stomach then releases acids and enzymes for the breakdown of food. What happens when you eat and you don’t have enough enzymes to break down the food is that it sits in the gut and causes gas and bloating.  You will also give bacteria a perfect environment to feast on the undigested foods, causing a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.  This will cause the heavy bloated feeling and the heartburn.

If you are not breaking down your food properly, you will not absorb the nutrients from the food causing a lot of problems due to a nutritional deficiency.  This will cause weight gain because your body is “starving” for nutrients and becomes very efficient at storing fat for future energy.

I suggest taking a full spectrum digestive enzyme as well as a probiotic supplement and your symptoms should disappear pretty quickly but if you have food intolerance’s, you need to give up those foods and find a healthy alternative for them.  You should all know how I feel about gluten (and weight gain) by now and I have given you many alternatives for gluten-laden foods in this blog.  Just use your imagination and be prepared at all times.

Goats Cheese Rosemary Crackers – 2 Net Carbs

These delicious goats cheese crackers are flavoured with fresh rosemary and make a great gluten free and low carb cracker to have alongside with a dip.

 

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 12 Crackers
Author: Angela Coleby
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (56g) coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Rosemary, fresh
  • 6oz (168g) Goats cheese.
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth.

  2. Spoon the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper, then place another piece on top. Gently roll out the dough until about 1 cm thick.

  3. Cut out with a cookie cutter or shape by hand.

  4. Place onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes until firm and golden.

  6. Allow to cool or place in the fridge overnight for best results.

Recipe Notes

Makes 12 crackers

Nutritional Info per cracker – 99 Calories, 8g Fat. 4g Protein, 4g Total Carbs, 2g Fibre, 2g Net Carbs

How To Still Eat All Of Your Favorite Foods But Low Carb Version

Some people think that following a low carb or ketogenic diet is too difficult to follow especially for the long run but you would be completely wrong if you know how to substitute your favorite foods.  Let’s look at some alternative foods that are easy to make and taste virtually the same or better than the high carb choice.

Potatoes:  One small to medium potato has a whopping 30g carbs!  But what about our beloved mashed potatoes that goes so well with meatloaf?  Make mashed potatoes with cauliflower!  Simply boil cauliflower for 12-15 minutes until well cooked and drain it well.  You can put the cauliflower in a clean dish towel and squeeze until dry.  The dryer the cauliflower the better your mashed potatoes will turn out.  Mash them with some butter or coconut oil, ¼ cup sour cream (lower carb than milk), salt and pepper.  I like to add a little parmesan cheese and garlic for added flavor and my husband actually adds pickle juice and it’s actually really good.

Rice: 100g of white rice has 28g carbs, minimally.  White rice is also void of nutrients and is simply starch.  Substitute rice for cauliflower.  (I love this vegetable!)  Simply place cauliflower chunks in a food processor and pulse until broken down into rice-size pieces.  Or you can grate the cauliflower instead.   Heat some olive oil or coconut oil in a skillet and cook over medium heat until it turns slightly brown (3-5 minutes).   Mix in your favorite ingredients that you would normally put in your rice (low carb ingredients of course).

Bread: 2 slices of bread have between 20-25g carbs.  I have posted many recipes for low carb, gluten free bread, naan bread and buns.  Scroll down on my blog and you will see many recipes or you can simply google low carb almond flour bread or low carb coconut flour bread.  Most recipes I have seen have about 1-3 net carbs per serving.

Pizza:  1 large slice of pizza has at least 25g carbs.  You can make low carb pizza using yet again, cauliflower!  Prepare your cauliflower exactly the same as you do for the rice.  Boil the rice for about 5-7 minutes and drain.  Wrap the cooked cauliflower in a clean dish towel and squeeze until the cauliflower is dry.  Again, the dryer the better.  Put in a bowl and add 2 eggs (beaten), ½ cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 1 tsp oregano, a little salt and garlic.  Mix well.  Don’t be afraid to get your hands in there to mix it well.  Put on baking tray lined with parchment paper so it doesn’t stick.  Press so it looks like a pizza crust.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Add all of your favorite (low carb) toppings and bake again for another 10 minutes or until browned at the top.

Pasta: 100g of pasta has no less than 25g carbs.  Well, this time I cannot give you a cauliflower recipe for pasta but I can recommend some low carb pastas that you can buy in a grocery store or local health food store.  While there are many low carb pastas to choose from, I recommend ones that are not made with wheat flour.  Some of them could include:

  • Miracle Noodles: There are 8 different types of Miracle Noodles (including a rice version) available which all have ZERO carbs and are made out of a water-soluble fiber made from the Konjac plant
  • Zucchini pasta: You can buy (or make) zucchini pasta which contains in 1 cup less than 4 total carbs and 1-2g fiber which leaves only 2 net carbs
  • Black bean pasta: Made from 92 percent black beans (and 8 percent water), they’re loaded with 25 grams of protein per serving, 17 total carbs and 12g fiber which leaves the net carbs at only 5g!

Add all of your favorite toppings but be careful with spaghetti sauce as it often has added sugar.  Used mashed tomatoes or olive oil instead.  Add some ground beef, cheese and spices like garlic and oregano and you will be in heaven!

So enjoy your favorite meals without the guilt!

Coconut Flour Bread

This coconut flour bread is gluten free and has only 1 Net Carb Per Slice!  This recipe makes 1 loaf or 12 slices

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients.
  3. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until very smooth.
  4. Grease a small bread pan with coconut oil or use parchment paper and fill about ⅔ of the way full with batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Recipe taken from Diet Doctor

Why Use Almond Flour in Low Carb Baking?

Almond flour is a gluten-free nut flour, essentially just ground blanched almonds. It’s often used as a low-carb substitute for wheat flour in bread and other baked goods.  Almond flour is a common ingredient in all kinds of baking.   Almonds do not contain gluten so it won’t rise with yeast.  When using it in baking, you’ll need something to help absorb and bind liquid like psyllium husk, protein powder and/or eggs.  Almond flour can also be used as a low-carb breading for those of you who like a crunchy crust.  Simply mix the almond flour with spices and Parmesan cheese and coat your chicken, fish or vegetables.

The amount of carbs in in almonds is approximately 4-8 grams of carbohydrates per 100 gram.  Almond flour is fairly low in carbs but when ground up and used in bread, the number of gram of carb may add up quickly so be sure to check the nutritional label.  I have posted many recipes that use almond flour as the base that may also include psyllium husk to add additional fiber (as well as absorb the moisture).   I make almond buns weekly and have many of my friends and family make them too as they are so easy and so tasty.  For those of you who find it hard to give up bread, try some of the recipes I have posted.  You will be pleasantly surprised how good they are and they curb that bread craving and eliminate wheat and gluten from your diet which in my humble opinion is not healthy for you.

If you’re allergic to nuts or don’t like the nutty flavor of almonds, you can replace it with coconut flour but not in equal amounts. 1 cup of almond flour can be substituted for ⅓ cup of coconut flour. You might also need to add additional eggs.