Protein Bars:  Good or Bad?

With so many protein bars on the market, it’s hard to know what to look for in a good quality low carb protein bar.  Some bars have more sugar than a candy bar or donut and not much protein.   When looking at the ingredients list, don’t forget that when following a low carb diet, you don’t just look at the total carbs.  You must look at the NET carbs.  These are the carbs that are left over after you subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols.  For example, if the bar says it has 28g of total carbs, 12g of fiber and 8g of sugar alcohol, it only has 8 NET carbs.  These are the carbs left that have a glycemic response and will affect blood sugars.  Other things to look for include:

  • Gluten Free
  • High Fiber (10g or more)
  • Moderate Protein (no less than 8g)

Basically, the fewer ingredients the better.  Why not make your own protein bars?  This will take the guessing game out of all of the unknown ingredients and you can control everything yourself.  Check out this site which has links to 50 best low carb protein bar recipes.

https://www.lowcarblab.com/best-low-carb-protein-bar-recipes/

Food For Thought…and Steve Jobs

As we progress into the new year 2018, it brings to mind the thoughts of Steve Jobs as he lay on his sickbed… so very true and ‘food’ for serious thought!!  Remember that achieving health is not just about diet and supplements.  It about a healthy mind as well.  Take a moment and read what he wrote.  It puts so many things into perspective. 

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, CEO and maker of iPad… iPhone etc., died a billionaire and here are some of his last thoughts and words on the sickbed:

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to… at this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.

You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – health and life itself.

When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading – “Book of Healthy Life”.

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends.

Treat yourself well. Cherish others.

As we grow older, and hence wiser, we slowly realize that wearing a $300… or $30.00 watch… they both tell the same time.

Whether we carry a $300… or $30.00… wallet/handbag, the amount of money inside is the same.

Whether we drink a bottle of $300… or $10… wine the hangover is the same.

Whether the house we live in is 300 sq. ft… or 3000 sq. ft… loneliness is the same.

You will realize, your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.

Whether you fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down, you go down with it.

Therefore, I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sing songs with, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven & earth…that is true happiness!!

Five Undeniable Facts of Life…

  1. Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy so when they grow up they will know the value of things… not the price.
  2. Best awarded words in London… “Eat your food as your medicines, otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food.”
  3. The One who loves you will never leave you for another because even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find one reason to hold on.
  4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human… only a few really understand it.
  5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, YOU have to manage!!

Remember… if you just want to walk fast, walk alone, but if you want to walk far, walk together!!

Six Best Doctors in the World…

  1. Sunlight
  2. Rest
  3. Exercise
  4. Diet
  5. Self Confidence
  6. Friends

 

 

Tips to Avoid Gaining Weight over the Holidays

Are you concerned about weight gain over the holidays?  It’s certainly easy enough given all of the food and drink we are exposed to for weeks during the Christmas holidays.  Since we are probably going to indulge in some extra treats, here are some tips and strategies that you can consider in an effort to not gain any weight.

  1. Protein, protein, protein! Protein such as turkey and other lean meats will keep you full for a long time.  You don’t have to be hungry to eat but feeling full is the only time you don’t think about munching.
  2. Eat slowly. The quicker we eat, the less time the body has to register that it is full so slow down.  Take time to enjoy your food and savor each bite.
  3. Choose high fiber foods like beans, legumes and loads of raw vegetables. These foods not only fill you up but fiber will inhibit the fat from being absorbed from you foods.
  4. Eat plenty of healthy fats. Everyone likes fat but be sure to stick to the good fats like avocados (guacamole here we come!), nuts and homemade dressings for your vegetable dips.   Fats create satiety and fullness.  Don’t be afraid to bring your homemade veggie dips with you to parties.
  5. Use smaller plates. Plate sizes have increased significantly over the years. The brain associates empty space on your plate as not enough food.  Also using smaller plates means less food eaten.
  6. Stick to natural sugars and ditch the simple sugars like holiday cookies, cakes and pies. These treats are definitely tempting but offer nothing but weight gain. Stick to fruits with a no sugar added yogurt dip.
  7. Take time before grabbing seconds or thirds off the buffet table. It takes 20 minutes for your body to register that it is full so wait at least 20 minutes before reaching for more food.
  8. Stay away from very high carb foods like bread, potatoes and pasta. These foods break down quickly into glucose and too much glucose is a recipe for weight gain.
  9. Watch the alcohol. Many drinks like beer, eggnog and fruity drinks carry a bunch of unnecessary carbs and sugar.  Stick to drinks mixed with water or club soda using lemon or lime instead of sugar.  Spice your drinks with cinnamon or other flavors.  Too much alcohol can weaken your resistance to overindulging in food as well.
  10. Drink plenty of water. Water fills your belly so drink plenty of water before you go to the party and while you are at the party to ensure you eat less.
  11. Keep up with your exercise regime. We all know how busy we can be during the holidays and it is a little harder to get to the gym so try doing some exercises from home.  Do some squats while chopping at the kitchen counter or go for a long walk to de-stress.
  12. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation is quite common during the holidays and it may cause weight gain.  Those who don’t sleep enough tend to be hungrier, consume more calories and get less physical activity.
  13. Bring a healthy dish to share. This way you know you’re safe eating what you brought without looking like you’re being picky.
  14. When baking use the following substitutes to cut calories and fat:
  • Replace butter with applesauce, mashed banana or pumpkin puree
  • Instead of sugar, use a low-calorie substitute such as stevia or xylitol
  • Add dried fruit instead of chocolate chips or candies
  • Flavor recipes with extracts like vanilla, almond or peppermint oils instead of butter or sugar
  1. To reduce fat in cooking use plenty of herbs and spices instead of butter; bake, steam or grill instead of frying; use low-fat milk instead of heavy cream; replace cream cheese, sour cream and mayo with Greek yogurt

Fit to serve: Brown Butter Cake

Ok I have to try this recipe…looks so yummy!

Diabetes Diet

sponge cake 2

Low Carb Brown Butter Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups of (4 sticks) unsalted butter melted and lightly browned

6 large eggs

2 cups of finely milled almond flour

2 cups of sugar substitute

1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of sea salt

Directions:

1.    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-inch spring-form pan with butter.

2.    Melt and lightly brown the butter in a saucepan and allow to cool completely.

3.    Beat all the eggs and sugar substitute in a stand-up mixer on high until mixture is thick and a shade of pale yellow, about 6 minutes.

4.    Add the almond flour by ¼ cup increments into the egg and sugar-substitute batter folding gently with a rubber spatula. *Do not over stir, mix only to combine

5.    Once the batter has been mixed add the now cooled melted brown butter gently fold into the batter until fully…

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Low Carb Broccoli Ricotta Cannelloni

Who doesn’t want low carb cannelloni????  You can thank Angela again for some of her amazing gluten, vegetarian low carb recipes!
Ingredients
Crepes
  • 3 tablespoons (21g) coconut flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion peeled & chopped
  • 1 cup tin tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons basil, fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Filling
  • 300 grams broccoli cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup (25g) Parmesan cheese grated
  • 300 grams ricotta cheese
  • 1 lemon rind and juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oit
  • 1/2 cup (56g) Mozzarella cheese for topping grated
Instructions
Crepes
  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except the butter together. Either whisk or use a hand blender until the mixture is smooth.

  2. Heat the butter in a medium sized frying pan on a medium heat.

  3. Gently pour a small amount of the batter into the pan until you have a circle. You can rotate the pan whilst you pour to get a larger crepe. I just pour about one sixth into the pan and just watch it form into a circle naturally.

  4. Cook on one side for about 1-2 minutes until bubbles appear in the crepe, then flip over to cook for a further 1-2 minutes

  5. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Sauce
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and add the onion. Saute for 5 minutes until soft.

  2. Add the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes.

  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon and add the basil. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

  5. Remove from the heat and using a hand blender blitz until smooth. Or place the sauce into a blender.

Filling
  1. Rice the broccoli by placing the florets into a food processor and blitzing until it looks like green breadcrumbs.

  2. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add the broccoli, lemon rind and juice and cook for 3-5 minutes until the broccoli is soft and cooked. Not too mushy though.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper until combined.

Assembly
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F degrees

  2. Lightly butter a baking dish.

  3. Spoon half of the tomato sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.

  4. Place a couple of tablespoons of the broccoli and ricotta mixture into a crepe and roll into a “cigar”.

  5. Place the filled crepe on top of the sauced lined baking dish.

  6. Repeat until the baking dish is full of stuffed crepes.

  7. Spoon the remaining sauce over the crepes.

  8. Sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese over the sauce (Parmesan would work too)

  9. Bake for 15 minutes.

  10. Eat and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Serves 2 – 3 people  (6 filled crepes)

Nutritional info per filled crepe “cannelloni” :  282 Calories, 15g Fat, 16g Protein, 13g Total Carbs, 4g Fibre, 9g Net Carbs

Taken from divaliciousrecipes.com

Pizza Bomb Bites

Here is another great recipe from Angela Coleby from Divaliciousrecipes.com.  I think I need to move in with her lol.  It’s only 1 net carb for these pizza bite yummy treats!  This recipe makes 24 pizza bites.  I think when I make them I am going to add a little meat ball in the center of them.  Or maybe bacon?  Hmmmmmmmmmm. And I am definitely going to use coconut oil and add a little Italian spices.  I added the pictures from her blog so you can see how to make them.
Ingredients
Dough
  • 1/2 cup (56g) coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husk powder
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
Filling
  • 6 teaspoons Marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese for topping grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F degrees

  2. Make the dough, place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and blend well.

  3. Add the oil and egg and stir until combined.

  4. Add the boiling water, gradually until you have a dough. Firm up with your hands.

  5. Roll out the dough by placing it on a piece of parchment paper, place another piece of parchment paper on top, then roll out. Cut out circles to cover the muffin tin spaces (I used a wine glass, but a large cookie cutter would do too).

  6. Place the circles in a greased mini muffin tin and ensure that all the sides are covered with the dough.

  7. Place about ¼ teaspoon of the Marinara sauce into each bomb.

  8. Add Mozzarella cheese, pushing down until the bomb is full.

  9. Gently squeeze the top edges of the dough together so that the dough forms little balls.

  10. Sprinkle the tops with Parmesan cheese.

  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is firm and golden.

  12. Eat and argue over the last one!

 

Nutritional Info per bite :  68 Calories, 5g Fat, 2g Protein, 2g Total Carbs, 1g Fibre, 1g Net Carbs

Just wanted to share a good joke lol

After an elderly couple starts getting forgetful, they visit their doctor. Their doctor tells them that many people find it useful to write themselves little notes.

When they get home, the wife says, “Dear, will you please go to the kitchen and get me a dish of ice cream? And maybe write that down so you won’t forget?”

“Nonsense,” says the husband. “I can remember a dish of ice cream.”

“Well, I’d also like some strawberries and whipped cream on it,” the wife replies.

“My memory’s not all that bad,” says the husband. “No problem — a dish of ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream. I don’t need to write it down.”

He goes into the kitchen, and his wife hears pots and pans banging.

The husband finally emerges from the kitchen and presents his wife with a plate of bacon and eggs.

She looks at the plate and asks, “Hey, where’s the toast I asked for?”

Haha…the doctor should have told them to go to nutrition house and get some herbs for memory…but you have to remember to take them… 🙂