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

More Info On Low Carb Diets From Dr. Mercola

I ran across this article from Dr. Mercola website while searching what doctors think of low carb diets and had to share it with you.  See below to see his opinion on a low carb diet and I will say that I totally respect his opinions!  Please know that this entire article below is taken from his website: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/01/31/high-fat-low-carb-diet-benefits.aspx

If you want to read more, click the link above…

“Your body can burn both carbs and fat, but your body will burn carbs first. As long as you’re eating carbs, your body will try to burn those first. They’re like the bully cutting in line. You may just think of them as kind of a throw-away nutrient too, because your body cannot store high levels of carb.

You have to try to oxidize them and burn them first. But if you’re carb intolerant, which is highly prevalent in this country, you can’t burn carbs, by definition, very well.

Your body then only has one alternative, and that’s to convert the carbs you eat into fat. That happens to a greater extent to folks who are insulin resistant or carb intolerant. That really sets the stage for a lot of metabolic problems. Again coming back to how do you train the body to burn more fat; it all starts with removing the availability of carbohydrate because, as long as it’s there, it’s going to take precedence, and will simultaneously inhibit burning of fat.

These are very sensitive and exquisite mechanisms in place for this to work. You eat just a single meal of carbs and your fat-burning shuts down right away.

This is why a low- nonfiber carb diet works so well to shift fuel use over to fat. You restrict the amount of glucose and starches that you’re consuming, and your body naturally shifts over to preferring fat for fuel. It does take some time to adapt to that. Your cells have to shift over their machinery to handle the increased levels of fat and lipid-based fuels. It takes a matter of weeks to get that adaptation.

But once it’s there, they’re fairly robust adaptations that don’t just go away. This is why there is an adaptation period to a low-carb diet. It can be disrupted though if you reintroduce carbs. But a lot of the adaptations do remain.”

Finding Your Ideal Carb Level

According to Volek, a level of non-fiber carbs that allows you to enter into nutritional ketosis (a metabolic state associated with an increased production of ketones in your liver; it’s the biological reflection of being able to burn fat) is on average about 50 grams per day or less of digestible or absorbable carbohydrates. However, we all vary how we respond to the same food, so this is not an exact recommendation.

Some people can be in a full fat-burning state with full ketosis at a level of non-fiber carbs that’s higher than 50 grams; maybe 70 or 80 grams. Others, especially if you’re insulin resistant or have type 2 diabetes, may require less than 40 grams or even 30 grams per day.

Again, it bears repeating that when we say carbohydrates, we’re referring to non-fiber carbs only. If you look at the nutrition facts on a processed food package, it will list total carbs, and that’s not what we’re talking about. Don’t get confused about this or you’ll get really nervous. You do need carbs, but you need most all of them from vegetables.

By volume, vegetables are not very calorie-dense. You could have an 85 percent fat diet, and the volume of the fat would be one-tenth the volume of the vegetables you’re eating.

To find your personal carb limit, it’s important to actually measure your ketones, which can be done either through urine, breath, or blood. This will give you an objective measure of whether or not you’re truly in ketosis, rather than just counting the grams of carbohydrates you consume.

“That even varies within a person over time,” Volek says. “You may be able to tolerate more carbs when you’re in your 20s, but suddenly now you’re in middle age and the same level of carbs is resulting in a few extra inches on your waist, your blood sugars are creeping up, you now have prediabetes, or worse.

The appropriate level of carb for an individual is bit of a moving target, but it is a very important element to personalizing a diet, which I think is fundamental to this idea of personalized nutrition. It’s finding the appropriate level of carb for you at any given point in your lifespan that allows you to maintain health.”

Research has shown that ketosis is a very safe and a therapeutic metabolic state to be in, especially if you’re diabetic or suffering from carb intolerance. But there are people who are naturally very insulin sensitive and carb tolerant that don’t need to be in ketosis to thrive. So there’s certainly room for flexibility, depending on your individual situation.”

Dr. Mercola

What Vitamins Should I Take While Following a Low Carb Diet?

As far as vitamins when cutting out carbs, I will always recommend a good quality multi vitamin.  This assures you will get all of the vitamins and minerals that the body needs.  There are many multi vitamins that are gender specific as you should be taking women’s multi if you are a woman and men’s multi if you are a man.  Also, if you are over 40 you should be taking a vitamin geared to your age group as well as they will have added ingredients to protect you from age related issues like hormonal imbalances, heart protection, cancer prevention etc.

Fish oil is my second recommendation and this will take care of both at the same time.  When following a low carb diet it is important to add more good fats.  I personally take MCT oil daily.  This oil comes from coconut and body builders and dieters use it to help them burn fat and stay in ketosis.  In case you are unaware, ketosis means the body is using fat for energy instead of sugar (carbs).  You can read more about both ketosis and MCT oil on my previous blogs.  You can use MCT oil in your shakes, salad dressings or just take a shot of it with your meals.

Other fats that you should include in your diet are coconut oil, olive oil, butter and avocado’s.  Smoothies as a snack is a great way to get in more MCT oil and dense nutrients.  My smoothies include a protein powder, MCT oil, a greens powder and berries powder.  I also add liquid fish oils.  You couldn’t possibly eat all day long and get the amount of nutrients in this shake.  Also, I never use fresh or frozen fruit as they are too high in carbs.  I literally put water in my shaker cup, add the protein, oils, and powders, shake and go.  It’s low carb and easy to make.

Teas for Weight Loss

Millions of people love to drink tea.  It’s soothing and tasty.  Because herbal tea is a very low-calorie beverage, it can help you reduce your overall calorie intake when used in place of higher-calorie beverages which is beneficial when you’re trying to shed pounds.  There are so many kinds of teas available but the most popular and researched are regular black tea, green tea and white tea.  That’s because they are a good source of flavonoids which are potent antioxidants, meaning they protect you from degenerative diseases.  Flavonoids are one class of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) which provide the plants with their colorful pigments. Within the flavonoid family are about 4,000 subtypes that offer a range of health benefits.  This is why eating a diet of different colors offers different protection depending on the color.  Teas have a type of flavonoid called “catechins” that may boost metabolism and help your body break down fats more quickly. And the caffeine in many teas increases your energy, causing your body to burn more calories. These two compounds probably work best together for weight loss.  Keep in mind there are many teas that do not have caffeine.  Personally I cannot do any caffeine.  I am extremely sensitive to it so I am well versed in what teas that are naturally caffeine free.  Keep in mind that when drinking tea to lose weight, it typically takes 4-5 cups per day.

Some teas have weight loss properties which is what I am going to discuss today.  Let’s have a look at some of them.

Black Tea:  Research suggests substances called “polyphenols” in black tea might help block fat from being absorbed in the intestines but only if you drink it black.  Adding milk might inhibit its fat burning properties.

Green Tea:  Very high in “catechins” particularly EGCG.  Green tea is a known fat burner, especially in the belly area.  It triggers fat for release and then speeds up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy.  We actually sell EGCG in capsule form in our stores to reduce stress.  Remember that if you are high stressed your weight loss efforts will be deterred because your body in high stress goes into a ‘fight or flight’ mode which causes your body to store fat.

Matcha Tea:  Like green tea, Matcha tea is very high in EGCG, in fact it has more than green tea.  It will help to boost your metabolism and burn fat.

Oolong Tea:  Like green tea, it’s a rich source of “catechins”.  In one study, more than two-thirds of overweight people who drank oolong tea every day for six weeks lost more than 2 pounds and trimmed belly fat.

White Tea:  Some studies show that white tea speeds up the breakdown of existing fat cells and blocks the formation of new ones.

Rooibos Tea:  This tea is high in the flavonoid called “aspalathin” which research shows can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage.

Yerba Mate Tea:  Yerba Mate contains high levels of “mateine” which is a stimulant similar to caffeine but without the known side effects of caffeine.  Mateine can increase your metabolism and increase your energy, thereby burning fat in the process.  It also has a relaxing effect which helps to reduce stress levels (and now we know what stress does to your weight loss efforts).  Yerba mate has been known to stop craving and helps you feel fuller, longer so you are less likely to overeat.

Can Detoxing Help Me Lose Weight?

Do you experience any of these symptoms for prolonged periods of time?

  • No energy even after a good sleep
  • Poor digestion and bloating
  • Acne
  • Irritability
  • Brain fog (trouble thinking)
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • White or yellow coated tongue
  • Bad breath
  • Moodiness

You could need a detox.  Our bodies are bombarded by toxins in our environment and food.  So how does detoxing help me with weight loss?  One of the jobs of the fat cell is to hold and sequester toxins keeping them from the vital organs.  When we detox, we release the toxins from the cells thus releasing the fat with it.  It is important that you drink a lot of water during detox to flush out the toxins and fat.  I will often put people on a detox program when they want to lose weight to kick start the release of fat.

So how does one detox?  There are so many detox programs (kits) available today at nutrition house.  You can start by doing a liver detox first, then a full body detox.  Some kits are for one week, some for 2 weeks and some for 30 days.  Some of them are really easy to follow you simply take the products as directed on the product.  I always suggest that you don’t eat red meat or pork during the detox to give the digestive system a break.  Proteins such as fish and chicken are far easier to digest.  I also suggest that you don’t eat any wheat or gluten or dairy during the detox phase.  This will not only help you lose weight quicker but you will feel so much more energy after 48-72 hours.

After the detox phase, stick to the keto diet as instructed in my blog.  You should have lost some weight during the detox which will keep you motivated to continue with your low carb diet.  Visit your local nutrition house store and ask the sales expert to guide you to the right detox for you.  Good luck!

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!