Was Your New Year’s Resolution To Lose Weight? Review Your Low Carb Rules!

Ok so we are 18 days into the New Year.  How many of you made a New Years Resolution to lose weight?  What are you doing to lose the weight?  Are you still following it or have you fallen off of it already?  Anyone who has tried to lose weight will say how difficult it is because it is so hard to give up your favorite foods.  I will say again and again and again…STOP DIETING!!!  Change your lifestyle and don’t be too lazy to prepare your meals.  I mean, how bad do you want to lose weight? Not everything comes so easy but if you are determined to lose weight AND gain health, follow the rules of my low carb program.  Know that you can have bread and buns but you have to bake your own so they are low carb, high fiber AND wheat and gluten free.  Most of my recipes use almond or coconut flour and are so much better tasting than any other breads I have ever had.  I can go to a restaurant and order a hamburger (providing there are not fillers such as bread crumbs in it) and bring my own bun.  The first time I did this, I think my husband was embarrassed.  I seriously don’t care.  I just tell the waitress to bring my burger without a bun and say that I can’t eat wheat so I brought my own.  They honestly don’t care.  There is nothing that you can’t have if you make your own.  I never used to bake but now I am learning to make my own breads, pizzas, chocolate, sweets and whatever else I want.  I post many recipes on my blog but you just have to google low carb, gluten free recipes and boom…thousands of recipes are available.

So, for now I am going to re-post some of the more important things about following a low carb diet.  Please see below for the Rules of the Game on low carb diets.  It is important that you don’t cheat and slip in  more carbs than you’re allowed.  Once you are down to the weight you want to be you can start increasing your carbs but if you start gaining weight again, follow the rules and get back to where you should be.

NOTHING TASTES BETTER THAN THIN FEELS!

I think following any diet that consists of low carb, HIGH good fats and moderate protein is the healthiest thing you can do for your body. I promise if you follow what I am telling you, you will start to lose weight right away and your energy will increase and most importantly, you will lose all cravings for sugar/carbs. Please see the rules below. This program works by starving your body of sugar forcing it to burn fat for energy. The #1 fuel that your body can and does easily use is sugar. When you keep your sugars/carbs below 30 NET carbs, it has NO CHOICE but to burn its reserve energy which is fat! See below for checking how much fat you are burning.

#1 RULE to remember…EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING with the exception of meat and fat is a carbohydrate and all carbohydrates are sugar! This includes fruit, vegetables, grains…everything except meat and fat breaks down into sugar.

RULE #2: You are only allowed 30 NET carbs per day or less. What is a NET carb? Not all carbs are created equal and some behave differently than others. For example, fiber (which is a carbohydrate) and sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol etc) cannot be absorbed by the human body so they go through the system unabsorbed and more importantly, they do not have a glycemic response. This means they do not require insulin to be metabolized. So to determine your NET carbs, here is the math:
Total Carbs – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols = NET carbs. (Note: Atkins products uses glycerine in their bars and some other products which cannot be absorbed but he never lists the amount of glycerine so the math never works)
Example: Total carbs = 30 Fiber = 15 Sugar Alcohols 11. So 30-15-11= 4 NET carbs. The carbs left over after subtracting fiber and sugar alcohols (and glycerine) have a glycemic response and require insulin to be metabolized and these are what you are counting. Remember only 30 NET carbs per day. You will be surprised how many carbs are in an apple or a cup of broccoli. Here is the link for the Atkins carb counter site. Use it for reference all the time:
http://files.atkins.com/1501_CarbCounter_Online.pdf

RULE #3: No potatoes, NO pasta, NO rice, NO bread and NO fruit (for now). I have a deadly recipe for low carb, gluten free bread made with almond flour and psyllium husk but you cannot have this for at least 2-3 weeks until you break old eating habits.

RULE #4: You MUST increase your good fats. These include coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil and MCT oil. I use MCT oil for my salad dressings, coconut oil for EVERYTHING including cooking (it is very stable under high heat conditions) and take a shot of MCT oil mid-afternoon and/or prior to my meals.

RULE #5: You MUST check your ketones. This is non-negotiable! When you are burning fat (it usually takes 2-3 days to convert your body) a by-product of fat burning is ketones. This means that once you start burning fat for energy, ketones will be in your urine. Go to the drug store and ask for ketone stix. You can even get ketone/diastix which will show fat burning and blood sugar levels, should you have blood sugar issues. The ketone stix go from a beige color all the way up to deep purple. The darker the color, the more fat you’re burning! If you are not burning ketones, you are NOT burning fat, simple as that. This means that you are still eating too many carbs or more importantly not eating enough fat. There is no cheating on carbs on this program. Your body will happily use sugar way faster than fat for energy as it is the easiest. It’s actually exciting to pee on that damn stick to see the dark color knowing that I am burning fat! I have noticed that if I don’t eat enough fat, my ketones are just showing trace. Once I started taking more MCT oil (shots in the afternoon and as a salad dressing) my ketones went large! You will see the difference right away.

Glycemic index and glycemic load: It is important to note the glycemic index in your food choices. The low glycemic foods do not require as much insulin to metabolize. You can download lists of food and their glycemic index from Google.

So what are you eating?

Protein (eggs, cheese, meat, bacon, protein isolate shakes for snacks etc). The ONE bars ad Quest bars are low carb but I would stay away from them for the first few weeks to wean off of sugar taste. Also, they may take you out of ketosis but you will know by checking it.

Vegetables but not the root/starchy ones. Good choices are all lettuce(s), cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, celery etc. CHECK the Atkins carb counter for amount of carbs in these vegetables. We have been programmed to count calories but calories do not count on this diet. You MUST however count carbs (NET carbs).

I strongly suggest that you have a dozen boiled eggs in your fridge at all times, as well as cooked chicken and cut up vegetables and lettuce. Sometimes we get lazy cooking and so having stuff prepared makes it much easier. I also have a home-made soup in the fridge at all times. My soups have chicken and vegetables (the ones allowed above). Be careful not to eat too many vegetables though as they are carbs.

Copy and paste this link to get the Dr Atkins NET carb counter:  https://files.atkins.com/1501_CarbCounter_Online.pdf   Know and chart your total carbs for the day so you stick below 30 net carbs but remember that everyone’s level of total carbs are different so again, it is vital you check your ketones.  If you’re not burning ketones, you are eating too many carbs even if you are at 30 net carbs.  It still may be too much for you.

 

 

 

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Tell me this doesn’t look delicious!  I personally love pumpkin recipes and am going to make this one for myself!
Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Ingredients
Cake
  • 5 Eggs separated
  • 1/2 Cup (58g) Coconut flour
  • 1/2 Cup (107g) Erythritol or sweetener
  • 1/2 Cup (113g) Butter, unsalted softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup (245g) Pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin spices
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 8 oz (224g) Cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup (54g) Erythritol Or Sweetener
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Crumble Topping
  • 1/3 Cup (38g) Coconut flour
  • 1/3 Cup (71g) Erythritol Or Sweetener
  • 1/4 Cup (56g) Butter, unsalted softened
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Instructions
CAKE LAYER
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/375F degrees.

  2. Grease and line an 8 inch springform cake tin with parchment paper.

  3. In a bowl, mix the erythritol and butter together until soft and blended.

  4. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and stir thoroughly.

  5. Add the coconut flour, salt, baking powder and beat until combined.

  6. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.

  7. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake mixture.

  8. Spoon half of the mixture into the baking tin and smooth evenly.

CREAM CHEESE LAYER
  1. In a bowl, add the softened cream cheese and beat with the erythritol (or sugar substitute).

  2. Add the egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice, zest and beat until smooth.

  3. Spoon this mixture over the cake mixture into the cake tin and smooth evenly.

  4. Add the other half of the cake mixture over the cream cheese layer and smooth.

STREUSAL/CRUMBLE TOPPING
  1. For the topping, place the coconut flour, cinnamon and erythritol in a bowl and mix until combined.

  2. Add the butter and mix with your hands, gently, so that the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

  3. Scatter the topping over the cake mixture.

  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until firm and the top is cooked.

  5. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then place in the fridge to firm.

Recipe Notes

Serves 10 slices

Nutritional Info per slice:  278 Calories, 24g Fat, 7g Protein, 10g Total Carbs, 5g Fibre, 5g Net Carbs

Author: Angela Coleby

Cheesy Oven Baked Brie

Who doesn’t love baked brie?  Try this recipe and use some low carb gluten free crackers or even celery sticks for scooping up this delicious cheesy dish!

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz. Brie cheese or Camembert cheese
  • 2 oz. pecan nuts or walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or fresh thyme or fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the cheese on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or in a small nonstick baking dish.
  2. Mince garlic and chop the nuts and herbs coarsely. Mix all three together with the olive oil. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Place the nut mixture on the cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is warm and soft and nuts are toasted. Serve warm or lukewarm.

Recipe taken from Diet Doctor.com

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