Month: June 2016

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 10

Ok, Day 10 of 10!  For my “finale” (thank God, this has been hard to post 10 days in a row!),  I’ll talk about supplements to add to your regimen and some general guidelines and links to articles that I think have important information about insulin resistance, weight loss, and staying healthy.   Here are a few supplements that can help stabilize your insulin levels and lower your blood sugar: It’s important you take a good multi-vitamin, even if you are eating totally healthy.  (read why here and more here).  I take Multigenics Phyto Multi which contains vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.  It is widely available. Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, but plays a very important role in metabolism.  Many of us are Vitamin D deficient.  As you doctor to check your level.  Taking 1,000-5,000 units/day of Vitamin D3 is considered pretty safe in most people. read more here There are a few other things that can help your insulin levels stabilize if you’ve struggled with your weight, or if you want to lose …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 9

Today is simple.  The next time you want to reach for potato chips, try one of these low carb snack alternatives!  In general, I’ve avoided cheese because I don’t eat dairy.  You can add cheese in small amounts if you can tolerate dairy. The key for a snack is this:  you MUST have some protein, some fat and some flavor!  Then, you won’t feel deprived! Protein  +  Good Fat = Good Snack! Olives – high in healthy fats, they’ll keep you feeling full. Celery with Nut Butter Cucumber chips with guacamole Hard Boiled Egg!  A little salt and pepper and you’re set A handful of almonds, cashews, pecans or walnuts. High fiber, low carbs, good fats ½ cup berries, and if you can do dairy, ½ cup greek plain yogurt One or two of my strawberry cookies! Half an avocado with tuna or chicken salad (home made if possible) Half an avocado with ½ tomato with salt and pepper Organic lunch meat without fillers (read your label) with asparagus or dill pickles Egg salad in …

Strawberry Cookies GF, DF, Low Carb

I had a bunch of organic strawberries last weekend, and I didn’t want them to go bad, so I made this recipe based on a paleo recipe I saw.  You can also substitute blueberries, blackberries or raspberries.  And, because of their nutritional value, they make a great breakfast! This makes 36 small cookies.  You can freeze them too. The one thing our family has learned is once you stop eating processed food, most of it taastes too sweet once you try it again.  So, these cookies have only ½ cup of raw honey for 36 cookies.  I like using natural sweetners vs. others, but you may want your carbs even lower.  There are websites you can look up substituting Stevia for the honey, I just haven’t done it.  Each cookie has about 5-6 carbs and they are full of protein from the almonds, and net carbs are probably lower due to the fiber. preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) Ingredients 3 cups blanched almond flour (Honeyville is my fav) ½ cup raw honey 1 tsp sea …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 8

Condiment Caution! It may seem negligible, but ketchup can sabotage you!  Hiding behind it’s pretty red “I’m a vegetable” mask is actually a food that has a fair number of carbs.  Let’s look at condiments, some of the common ones.  Everybody knows jam and jelly have sugar, so I won’t address those.  Just the usual common condiments we eat every day with food. I did NOT use the same measurement for each one, for obvious reasons.  You would probably not eat 3 TBS. of mustard, but you could easily have that much mayo with tuna salad, or dipping french fries in either ketchup or mayo (yes, some people prefer mayo to ketchup on fries!). So, here they are.  Now, the calories are important, but not NEARLY as important as what happens to your blood sugar and insulin levels after you eat anything.  Yes, calories matter, but carbs are the driver behind the steering wheel of your insulin response.  More carbs, more insulin.  More insulin, more fat storage, more hunger.  In order to break the cycle, …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs: Day 7

Avoid, or at least be skeptical of anything labeled “non-fat”. This is the biggest scam around.  We were taught, since the 1960’s that fat was to be avoided.  Now that recent research has cleared that stinkin’ thinkin’ up, we still see recipes calling for low fat cheese, low fat milk, low fat yogurt.  WHY?!?  Because habits are hard to break!  Yes, it is ok to eat low fat cheese and yogurt, but NOT if you choose one that has had carbs added to make up for the taste of taking the fat out!  That’s how food companies get low fat/non-fat items to taste better.  Additives, carbs and thickeners.  (chemicals!) I’m going to pick three common foods and compare them side by side.  Full fat is often better, keeps you full longer, and won’t spike insulin.  Dr. Atkins had some of it right, and with the exception of avoiding dairy, I basically eat a low carb diet. Example 1: Peanut Butter Low Fat Peanut Butter is a joke, because they add sugar to make it taste …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 6

T2T Restaurant Carb Hacks. It’s not as hard as you think to go low carb at a restaurant.  Here are some of my favorite tricks to stay low carb and still enjoy yourself: I want to say something first.  If you eat out once a year, or it’s your birthday, use the 90/10 rule:  decide when you’re going to have that 10% “blow my rules” meal, and then ENJOY it!  If you order something and then feel guilty about eating it, what’s the point?  For the rest of the time, use these hacks: Look for entrees that offer a simple fish, meat, or poultry option.  Stay away from pasta and things with sauces that may contain cornstarch, flour, sugar, or other thickening agents. When rice or potatoes are served, ask for two servings of the vegetable instead. Order a salad with dinner, and specify you want a dressing without sugar.  Oil and vinegar are usually available, and many restaurants make their own vinaigrettes, you just have to be assertive and ask what is in it.  …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 5

Today is a very important one.  I’m not posting these in order, and maybe this should be considered #1.  EAT MORE FIBER.  Sounds simple, but here’s a trick that can help you get healthier, thinner, and lower your cancer risk.  A win/win! The Role of Fiber in Weight Loss, Heart Disease and Diabetes: Dr. Dennis Burkitt, an English physician, studied the differences between indigenous African bushmen and western people like you and me.  The bushmen seemed to be free of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.  They ate a ton of fiber every single day.  In fact, the bushman had a stool weight of 2 pounds and the westernized men had a stool weight of only 4 ounces (yes, 87.5% smaller!).  Today, the average American eats about 8 grams of fiber a day. But the average hunter and gatherer ate 100 grams from a raw whole foods diet (roots, berries, leaves and plant foods). And the fiber is what helped them stay much healthier than the average American today. Why is fiber so great? Fiber …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 4

This one is simple once you see it in facts.  Stop drinking ALL juice.  Here’s why: Let’s take something you’d never eat on a diet.  How about a “fun size” snickers bar?  That’s clearly in the “no-no” zone, right?  Well, what if I told you that when it comes to blood sugar, insulin, and weight gain, orange juice is worse?  Would you be incredulous?  Here are the facts, based on TWO tiny snickers vs. 1 cup of OJ: So, the calories are a bit higher in the snickers bars.  But, although nutrient devoid (and that’s another post), they have less sugars than the OJ!  Now, this does not mean I want you to go out and eat snickers, but it does mean your use of juice should be negligible to NONE.  These calories go straight into your bloodstream, as there is no fiber in the juice to slow digestion.  Juice is not an item you want in your food plan at all.  In case you’d like more information, all the juices are listed here.  I …

10 Ways, 10 Days to Lower Carbs, Day 3

Eat a Low Carb Breakfast My mother battled her weight her entire life.  She was never heavy, but it was a constant struggle for her, and she passed on to me and my sister a “deprivation mindset” about food.  But, that is a story for another day.  I have truly battled my weight, for a variety of reasons (read my story later) and changing how I ate breakfast helped enormously. A carb free/low carb breakfast is one way you can start your day off to not sabotage yourself!  My mother complained that “If I eat breakfast, I’m hungry the rest of the day“.  She probably was.  With the American custom of high carb, low fat, low protein breakfasts, you sabotage yourself.   Here’s what happens:   First, you eat a carb heavy breakfast. (BAGEL, OATMEAL, TOAST, CEREAL, JUICE, PASTRY…)→ your body gets a sugar load (that’s what carbs convert into once you digest them) so your body produces INSULIN in response to the spike in your blood sugar (Insulin stimulates the cells throughout your body to …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs: Day 2

Watch out for fructose and sugar in disguise. Fructose is in many natural foods.  But where we get into trouble is the HIDDEN addition of sugar into processed foods. If you stick to a low carb diet, you’ll lose weight in part because you’ll ingest less fructose.  Fructose can be converted by our bodies into body fat very quickly.  The bottom line is that if your only source of fructose came from eating an apple or orange a day, keeping your total grams of fructose to below 25 per day, then eating it would not be an issue. Here’s the problem:  the typical person is consuming 75 grams of fructose each and every day. Because fructose is so cheap it is used in virtually all processed foods. The average person is consuming one-third of a pound of sugar every day, which is five ounces or 150 grams, half of which is fructose. This is 300 percent more than the amount that will trigger biochemical havoc, and this is the average — many consume more than …

10 Days, 10 Ways to lower carbs: Day 1

The secret to staying healthy is lowering your carbohydrate intake. And I don’t just mean losing weight, I’m talking about lowering your cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation.  The stuff that makes us chronically sick. I’m going to post 10 days/10 ways you can lower your carbohydrate intake. DAY ONE: Ditch Dairy, specifically Milk MILK is nutritious, but it’s also fairly high in carbs because it contains a type of sugar called lactose. (Remember, its purpose in life was to GROW baby cows!). An 8-ounce (240 ml) glass of full-fat or low-fat milk contains 12–13 grams of carbs. This is especially important if you drink milk by the glassful or in lattes or shakes. SWITCH TO: coconut, almond milk, hemp milk. (Again, this isn’t about dairy, it’s about CARBS:  case in point?  Rice milk is a dairy alternative, but is FULL of carbs, and isn’t any better than milk, in fact it is the highest in carbs.). Look for unsweetened varieties that have less than 2 carbs per serving (carbs minus fiber = total carbs).  Look at …

Boost Your Metabolism

Mark Hyman posted this great list on his blog this week.  If you follow these 7 simple rules, losing weight and/or having more energy is much easier!  I especially like #4.  Read it, and avoid putting your body into starvation mode, where it “hangs on” to fat.  You have to EAT to get THIN! Eat plenty of healthy fats. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts and seeds, along with wild, fatty fish are your mitochondria’s preferred fuel. My favorite “gasoline” for your mitochondria is medium-chain triglycerides or MCT oil, which is found in coconut oil. Go for color. While nutritionists often disagree, one thing nearly everyone concurs with is that we need to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and other plant foods. Colorful, antioxidant-rich plant foods become essential for healthy mitochondria and reducing oxidative stress. (I’ll add eat organic as much as possible…) Avoid sugar and flour. High-glycemic, high-carb foods put tremendous stress on your mitochondria. In fact, quick absorbed carbs are the biggest driver that damages your entire system.  This is what drives triglycerides and …