All posts filed under: Blog Entries

T2T’s Falafel

This is absolutely my take on falafel.  Falafel is a vegetarian patty originally made with either chickpeas, fava beans or a combination of both.  Mine is made with chickpeas and is gluten free. Falafel has been around for centuries, and with good reason.  High in protein and economical to make, falafel is a great staple to add to your culinary arsenal.  Yes, it has carbs, but is high in fiber, and has tons of good vitamins and minerals, especially if you use fresh spices. Common in the middle east, falafel is now international, and can be found in almost any major city in all countries.  Note you have to soak beans overnight, so start this a day ahead.  And don’t think you can used canned ones, it will not work… T2T’s Falafel see below for nutrition info 2 cups dried chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, stems removed ¼ cup fresh cilantro (if you hate cilantro, skip it and double the parsley) ¼ cup fresh mint leaves 3 cloves …

The Essence of Functional Medicine

Because I am a nurse, I know a lot of people in the medical community and as they learn my story and I get healthier, I’ve often been asked what functional medicine is. This image below sums up completely what a patient’s experience with functional medicine is like: Patients have evolved since the 1950s and they’re much more informed and want to participate in their care compared to decades ago. They often want to know why they have whatever illness it is they have. Unfortunately  during those same decades, conventional medicine became more specialized, and, at least where primary care is concerned, it took a turn away from what was important: seeing the entire person and trying to figure out how the symptoms come together and solve a puzzle. Don’t misunderstand me — patients are being treated more efficiently and quicker than ever before, the problem is that chronic illness is exploding in a way that we’ve never seen in history.  So, despite having better drugs and more efficient technology, we are getting sicker faster …

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 …

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 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 …

The Right Receipt!

Last week we were in Denver to see my son.  My son and husband had lunch together, and our son wanted to take him to a local restaurant that he liked.  I loved his choice for so many reasons:  1. It was a great restaurant that cooked local, often organic food. (they do pay attention when I talk!!!)  2. It provided them with low carb options for a lunch  3.  It gave me an idea for a post.  WIN-WIN-WIN!   Here’s what amazed me today as I scanned in receipts.  THEIR RECEIPT GAVE THEM THE NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR THEIR MEALS!  Why doesn’t every restaurant do this?  How cool is this?   My only comment is most people probably don’t want a 2,500/day calorie intake — but in Denver, which is one of the healthiest cities, it may be accurate due to the amount of biking/hiking/exercise most people get. But in all other regards, this is an awesome idea more restaurants need to follow! Tell your favorite local restaurant to try doing this, it appears that this …

2016 – The year to NOT…

It’s January 1st, and for many of us the new year heralds the all too familiar “this year I’m going to (insert self critical phrase here — eg; get thinner, work out harder, ramp up my career or be a better parent)…”  STOP. Just STOP. And make this year different. Make 2016 the year you become kind to yourself.  That doesn’t mean you can’t improve your life, or strive to be a better version of your present self. Go for it! But don’t base your changes on self-criticism– because that is a guarantee of failure. Over 90% of NY resolutions fail. The math is not on your side! Besides cutting yourself some slack, make your goals realistic.  It’s fairly simple if you use the concept of “baby steps”. Pick one goal related to your desired change — I want to lose weight so I will stop drinking soda of all kinds and replace it with water this week. Next week I’ll take another small step. I want to be a better parent, so instead of …