Friday, December 31, 2010

Can't Boil Water, Let Alone Eggs?

Hi once again on New Year's Eve. Yes, I have a few trouble free hours, so I've been catching up on my reading. Once again, I was going through what I've missed on Dana Carpender's blog "Hold the Toast." There is a great article about how to cook the perfect egg in various ways. I've tried her methods and they are all fool proof! I particularly like the method for boiling, as there are never those gray rings on the boiled eggs! So have a read and find out for yourselves:

Happy New Years!! Let's All Toast Each Other or Not?

Yes, my friends, it's New Years Eve at last and 2010 is coming to an end. This year, as every year has had it's good parts and its bad parts- for all of us. Here's wishing each and every one a wonderful 2011!!

That being said, I have a little blurb that is worth reading from Dana Carpender's "Hold the Toast" blog- about alcohol consumption. Especially pertinent for today, don'tcha think? This article is very informative and will give you a better perspective- well more realistic anyway- about drinking on the low carb lifestyle. Have a read- worth the time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Applesauce Cake Courtesy of Becky

As usual, life has been a little hectic and I don't get to our blog as often as I would like, so I'm making the effort to get contributions on when they happen. This cake sounds delicious! I do like the spices- does wonders for flavor and also makes the house smell like the holidays. Give this one a try!

Here is a new recipe I invented for Applesauce cake:

3/4 Cup Milled Flax
3/4 Cup Almond Flour
1 Cup Splenda
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
Mix dry ingredients

Stir in 3 beaten eggs,
Then 1 Stick of melted butter
And ¾ Cup warm applesauce

You can throw in some walnuts or sliced almonds (or raisins but they will increase your carb count)

Bake in a loaf pan in a 350 oven for 45 minutes

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Faux (Flax) Oatmeal Courtesy of Sherri

Hi ladies, 

As usual, some time has elapsed since my last post. Not to worry- I do get back to it. For those of you who miss your morning oatmeal, Sherri, one of our long time members has the solution for you!  This "oatmeal" has a slightly different texture than the regular, but is still very good and satisfying, especially on a cold morning.

One variation, since I'm a nut freak, is that I threw a handful of pecans in the spice grinder and ground till they were just a tiny bit chunky. I cooked them in the oatmeal and it was really good!  Give this  oatmeal a try!

If you like the flavored oatmeals, try tossing in a little cinnamon. Yum!

Faux Oatmeal - Flax Cereal

3T. of flax meal
3 T. of vanilla protein powder
1 or 2 pkg. of Splenda
2/3 cup of water
Mix dry ingredients together.
Add 2/3 cup of water and stir again.

Microwave it in a container with a lid for about 80-85 seconds on medium/high (about 7). It will thicken upon standing.
Serve with butter or cream.
I hope you try it and LIKE it???

Friday, December 3, 2010

Low Carb Bread Courtesy of Dana Carpender

For those of you who are really, really missing bread, and who aren't afraid of bread causing a carb binge, Dana Carpender from the "Hold the Toast" blog highly recommends these. She says it's wonderful to include in stuffing, etc. and especially good for a grilled cheese sandwich. Each slice has 10 grams of carbohydrate and 6 grams of fiber for a usable carb count of 4 grams. So for those of you not in phase one or just starting phase two, this bread could be added into your carb count. It certainly costs no more and even less than some specialty breads in the grocery store. I'm ordering some today! I can already taste my beloved poached egg on toast for breakfast!

Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce Courtesy of Susi

Well, folks, you can tell the holidays are upon us. The low carb and/or sugar free recipes are floating in. The following one is from Susi. This can be made with frozen cranberries, for those of you who have difficulty finding the fresh ones. An addition of 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of grated orange rind will give this one even more zip and not add one carb!

So, thanks Susi!

Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce
1 small box orange sf jello
1 c. water
1 bag cranberries (12 oz.)
Sweetener to equal 1/2 c. sugar
Apple pie spices

Bring water to boil- add jello and stir well. Add cranberries and then cook on low heat until they begin to pop. Add sweetener to taste- I used Erythritol and some liquid Splenda. I also used a sprinkle of cinnamon, ground cloves and ground allspice. Pour up into jars. Refrigerate.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Beef Short Ribs Courtesy of Dana Carpender

As most of you probably know, I try to follow Dana Carpender's blog, "Hold the Toast." She is a wealth of information about the low carb lifestyle! Anyway, I found this recipe for slow cooker short ribs, which I dearly love. And now I have something to cook in the new big oval crock pot a friend gave me!

Short Ribs with Crimini and Wine

Short Ribs with Crimini and Wine
2 pounds beef short ribs -- better in a couple of big slabs than all cut apart
8 ounces crimini mushrooms (portobello would do, too)
1/2 onion
1 bay leaf
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Lay the short ribs on your broiler rack and slide them under a high flame, about 4-5" from the heat. Set your timer for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms and put them in the crockpot. Slice your half onion, too, and crush the garlic, and throw them in with the mushrooms. Stir everything together to distribute evenly.
Somewhere in here, the timer will go off. Use a tongs to turn the ribs, and broil the other side for another 8 minutes.
Okay, the ribs are browned. Put a bay leaf on top of the mushrooms and onions, and the ribs on top of that.
Mix together everything else, and pour it over the ribs and mushrooms. Cover the pot, set to low, and cook for 5-6 hours.
When it's done, fish the short ribs out with your tongs, then use your guar, xanthan, or glucomannan shaker to thicken up the liquid in the pot to heavy cream consistency. Ladle sauce, mushrooms and onions over each serving.
We ate this as-is, but it would be wonderful over either fauxtatoes or shirataki fettucini.
Assuming 4 servings, each will have: 523 Calories; 28g Fat ; 56g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 5 g usable carb
NOTE: My ribs were in two good-sized slabs. If all you can get is smaller cuts, you'll need to brown them for considerably less time. Ask the nice meat guys if you can get the bigger cut.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Twas the Night Before Atkins by Why Guy

Twas the Night Before Atkins

whyguy | November 24, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Categories: About me: Welcome to my Blog | URL:
Twas the Night Before Atkins
Twas the night before Atkins and all through the land

Not a bad carb could be found, not by woman or man.

The celery was placed under pillows with care,

In hopes that the whoosh Fairy soon would be there.

The dieters were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of thin bottoms danced in their heads.

As I looked in the mirror, and jumped on the scale,

I was morbidly fluffy, this much I could tell.

When down in the kitchen there rose such a clatter,

I sprang down the stairs to see what was the matter.

Away through the house I flew like a flash,

My belly did jiggle and so did my ass.

Through moon beams and night-light the kitchen aglow,

I caught sight of a creature, so odd I did know.

A tiny little Pixie, wings all a flutter,

She replaced all my margarine with rich creamy butter.

So lovely was she, so jolly and merry,

I knew in a moment, it must be Whoosh Fairy.

More rapid than eagles, in her bag she did shove,

All the junk food that I dearly loved.

She took Doritos and Cheetos, and Kit Kats by two,

Goodbye Little Debbie's, and Captain Crunch too.

So long pasta and bread sticks, and pizza galore,

She filled up her bag till there wasn't no more.

Empty was the fridge and the shelves on the wall,

Now gone away! Gone away! Gone away all!

As I drew back my head and was turning around,

Out from the kitchen, did whoosh fairy bound.

In a very loud voice, I heard her exclaim,

"I know there is more—more of the same!"

She looked through the drawers like a burglar for cash,

It wasn't too long before she had my stash.

With a turn of her head she caught sight of me,

I wanted to run, I wanted to flee.

But a wink of her eye and a nod of her head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

She spoke not a word, but went straight back to work,

As she scooped up my soda, I felt like a jerk.

She was working so hard on my bodies behalf,

I could do nothing, but let out a laugh.

With a flick of her wand and a shake of her rear,

What to my wondrous eyes did appear;

The fridge that was empty and the shelves that were bare,

Now contained food that was wondrous and fare.

There was beef and there was poultry, and fish from the sea,

And salami and ham, and five types of cheese.

There were brussels and broccoli, and cauliflower too,

So many veggies, I thought I'd turn blue.

As I stepped a closer, to get a better look,

I could see on the table she had conjured a book.

It was written by Atkins this much I could see,

I knew right away that this tome was for me.

It said follow the plan and follow your heart,

Inductions the place you want to start.

Follow each phase and do all the courses,

On the Atkins plan, you'll eat like ten horses.

Her work was all done; food bulged in her sack,

She gave me a promise she soon would be back.

"A pound I will take, maybe two pounds or three,

You will be thin, in no time you'll see."

Her eyes how they twinkled! Her dimples how merry!

Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry!

Her cute little mouth was drawn up in a smile:

She said, "I must leave now—at least for a while."

And giving a nod, up the chimney she rose:

Up and away did the whoosh fairy go.

The flapping of her wings made aloud whistle,

Away she did fly like the down of a thistle.

But I heard her exclaim as she flew out of sight,

"Many whooshes to all—and to all a good diet."

Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms

 Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! I'm late posting this recipe and a couple of other, but I feel fortunate to even have time at the computer some days.

These shrimp-stuffed mushrooms are incredibly easy to do and totally Atkins friendly! I have them ready in the fridge to bake later today. And everyone seems to like them. Since I am the only low carb eater around my family, I like to make sure there are things I can eat guilt free. Makes it easier to resist all the high carb stuff!

1/2 to 1 pound of large mushrooms (depending on how many people you are serving) I like to use the baby portabellas, but any mushroom you like is fine.

olive oil and basting brush
1/4 pound of medium shrimp ( more for more mushrooms) peeled and deveined. Save yourself some effort and buy them already done for you.
Grated parmesan cheese

Clean mushrooms and remove the stems. Chop shrimp into about 1/4 inch pieces. Stuff the shrimp tightly into each mushroom and brush with olive oil. Then sprinkle each stuffed mushroom with grated cheese. Arrange on a baking sheet which has been sprayed with cooking spray or brushed with olive oil. Bake in a 375 degree oven till the cheese begins to turn brown and bubbly. These can be served warm or at room temperature.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sugar Free Cranberry Orange Sauce Courtesy of Susi

I don't know how many of you know this, but cranberries and orange are two flavors that marry very well. Susi, from our OFL group has contributed this recipe. I just tried it tonight, because I need to get going on the Thanksgiving meal. It's delicious! I'm eating with a bunch of "high carbers", but I won't tell them this is sugar free! Not going to make the one loaded with sugar I usually make this year! Give it a try!

Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce
1 small box orange sugar free jello
1 c. water
1 bag cranberries (12 oz.)
Sweetener to equal 1/2 c. sugar
Apple pie spices

Bring water to boil- add jello and stir well. Add cranberries and then cook on low heat until they begin to pop. Add sweetener to taste- I used Erythritol and some liquid Splenda. I also used a sprinkle of cinnamon, ground cloves and ground allspice. Pour up into jars. Refrigerate.

5,000 Words Courtesy of Sharon

Sharon, our resident song writer/ translator has now written and article I really enjoyed reading. It's about how she came to produce her CD that is now out. It's really well-written and worth the read.

Good Calories/Bad Calories Courtesy of Sherri

Another of our OFL's, Sherri has shared this Cliff Notes version of Gary Taube's "Good Calories/ Bad Calories. I found it really interesting and I think you will too. And thanks Sherri for the condensed verion. I rarely have time to read a whole book anymore!

 "For anyone wanting the cliff note version of Gary Taubes' Good Calories Bad Calories...I found it. (I'm a bottom line kind of gal and have been having a great deal of difficulty plodding through the book, although I find it extremely fascinating.) Sherri

a pdf is available and suggested, as the notes will only be available online for a limited time

My favorite quote:

Consuming excess calories does not cause us to grow fatter, any more than it causes a child to grow taller. Expending more energy than we consume does not lead to long-term weight loss; it leads to hunger.

Hope you all with short attention spans like me, enjoy :-)"

The Importance of Friendship- courtesy of Carole

I think this is the longest I have gone without writing on the blog, but it seems like life has not allowed the time lately. So, I'll try to catch up some today.

One of our OFL's, Carole has shared this article with us about the importance of fiendship with other women. It is something I have always known, at least subconsciously, as I always feel better when I communicate with girl friends regularly. So have a read!

Dear Friends,
>> This is a short but very insiteful article about the importance of
>> friendship.
>>I appreciate all of you very much,
>> Blessings!!!!!!!!!!
>>They Teach It at Stanford
>> "I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford University. The last
>>lecture was on the mind-body connection - the relationship between stress and
>>disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other
>>that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be
>>to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her
>>health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.
>>At first everyone laughed, but he was totally serious.
>>Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that
>>each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this

>>quality “girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin - a
>>that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being.
>>Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities.
>>They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain

>>things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars?
>>Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.
>>Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers,

>>and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time
>>a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out
>>a gym…. perhaps even more so!
>>There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing
>>something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we
>>wasting our time and should be more productively engaged—not true. In fact, he

>>said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with
>>other women is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!
>>So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on
>>back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We
>>indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo, let's toast to our friendship with our
>>girlfriends. Evidently it's very good for our health."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Red Chili Courtesy of Gabby

Yesterday, I posted Susi's Papa's Chili recipe, which you will see is infintely easier than mine. Well, not easier, just less time-consuming. So, I recommend that, if you get the urge to try mine, allow a little prep time. Once it's going, there's nothing to it- just let it simmer. Her recipe has no tomatoes, but around here, everyone likes the tomato taste, unless I'm making green chili with pork.

Red Chili with Tomatoes

2 Pounds ground meat ( 1/2 ground chuck- 1/2 ground fresh pork [not ground sausage])
1 large yellow onion diced (or any onion you want)
1 large Jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced fine
1 Poblano pepper, seeded and diced fine
4 large cloves of garlic, minced or fine dice
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 Tablespoons cumin (This depends on the freshness- If I grind my own seeds in the coffee grinder, sometimes it takes less. If using the powder you buy, sometimes it actually takes more than 2 Tablespoons, as cumin loses potentcy quickly after grinding.)
3 - 4 Tablespoons Chili Powder ( I think you'll find how much you need is dependent on how fresh the chili powder is. Start with a little and add as needed.)
Soy Sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
4 14 1/2 - 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, including juice (read labels to make sure there is no sugar)
1 -2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
Water as needed at the end to thin if needed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Let me say at the beginning that we like our chili fairly spicy- not hot, but not mild either. So, if you like yours really mild, omit the jalapeno and the poblano, although poblanos have little heat- just a lot of flavor.

I use a large straight-sided skillet to make a pot of chili in. Mine is one leftover from chef days, so it holds an entire pot of chili. This works just as well in a dutch oven, or even in the crock pot , if you brown the meat and toast spices and herbs before hand.

Prepare all vegetables prior to starting. If you are grinding your own cumin seeds, grind enough ahead of time. Crumble meat in the skillet over medium high and begin to brown. Add vegetables to wilt while browning the meat. Once the meat is browned, drain the fat, and then add all the herbs and spices (except the cocoa and bouillon cubes) and cook for a bit till you really start to smell them. This toasts the herbs and spices, giving them a really rich depth of flavor. Sprinkle all with a healthy dollop of Soy Sauce and then add the Worcestershire sauce. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, a little salt and pepper to start, and stir it all together. Add cocoa and bouillon cubes after liquids are in. Reduce to simmer, and after about twenty minutes, taste for seasoning: additional cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, etc. Simmer at least forty-five minutes, adding very tiny amounts of water as needed. We like our chili thick and beef-tasting, so that's up to you. I serve with a little sour cream and grated cheese on top.

Note: Some people like a little more sweetness to the chili, so if it's near done and you do, add splenda in tiny amounts till it seems right.



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Linda's Low Carb Recipes

Here and there our OFL's mention recipes  from Linda's Low Carb Recipes that sound really good. I'm posting the address, so if you want you can take a look. I've been reading through some of her recipes and some sound like things I would definitely want to try!

Carbs in Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Custard

Yesterday, I posted my recipe for pumpkin and/or sweet potato custard. I've been asked for portion size and carb count, so here goes. This is not an exact science, because it depends on a couple of factors. First of all, let me say, the sweet potato has way more carbs than the pumpking, but it can still be managed on Atkins, if you're careful. 

A sweet potato has quite a few less carbs if it's baked than if it's boiled before making the custard- 24 versus 36 carbs for 1/2 cup. If using custard ramekins, I usually make 8 of them.  So each one has about 13  or 14 carbs.  This depends on whether you're using heavy cream or half and half. Add a carb if using half and half. If making a pie, I cut the standard restaurant serving, which is 1/8 of a pie, so the carb count for the custard part is the same. You will have to add carbs to match whatever type of crust you have.

Pumpkin, on the other hand, is a lot more carb friendly. Only around 5 carbs per 1/2 cup if boiled and maybe one more if canned. Make absolutely certain, you read the label on the canned pumpkin to make sure there is no sugar added. Some does have added sugar, even if it's not an actual pie mix. With the eggs and cream, this is a really rich dessert for few carbs expended!Besides, do you REALLY HAVE TO HAVE that crust to get the taste of fall and Thanksgiving?


Sweet Papa's Atkins Friendly Chili Courtesy of Susi

Susi, one of the OFL's relatively new members has made a contribution to our growing collection of creative recipes. This one is totally fine for all phases, and best of all, sounds like something that could easily be put together after a busy day at work!

 I am going to add a recipe here for my sweet old Papa's Chili. It is very easy and carb friendly! I hope that is ok.

Papa's Chili
2 lbs. chili meat
1/4 c. chili powder
1/2 c. flour (I of course don't use this)
2 t. salt
1 T. cumin
1 1/2 qts. water
Brown chili meat, add spices and water. Simmer about 30 minutes. You can use some guar gum or Thick Not STarch to thicken this up. It is quick and easy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Baked Sweet Potato/Pumpkin Custard or Pie

I don't know about your part of the world, but it seems pumpkins and sweet potatoes are everywhere here. My brother has begun harvesting some, so I'm making sweet potato custard this weekend. This is a rich decadent treat and will bring those holiday memories flooding back. Just the smell of it baking reminds me of holidays!

This recipe can also be used as the filling for a pie. I am refraining from the pie crust, because, like others, I have made a solemn oath to myself to remain Atkins friendly all through the holidays!

Sweet Potato Custard (or Pumpkin Custard)

4 - 6 eggs (for a particularly rich custard, I use six eggs, but four will make the custard just fine)
1/2- 3/4 cup granulated
splenda note- for sweet potato custard, I only use 1/2 cup of the splenda, since the sweet potatoes have a natural sweetness already.
2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes or 2 cups cooked pumpkin or I- 15 ounce can of pumpkin
   note- this is just straight pumpkin- not the pumpkin pie mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 cups heavy cream or half and half, heated until very hot (do not boil)
Ground nutmeg or cinnamon for garnish- optional 

Makes two eight inch pies, if you are using pie crust.

Whipped cream for topping if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Begin whipping the eggs briskly with a whisk, adding splenda and spices and salt. Make sure there are no strings of egg white in the mixture and all is combined well. Temper this mixture by pouring a little of the hot cream into the eggs, whisking as you go to bring up the temperature of the egg mixture, so it will not scramble in the hot cream. I continue adding hot cream bit by bit until it is all incorporated into the egg mixture. (If you wish at this point, you can strain the whole mixture to make absolutely sure there are no cooked bits of egg. I usually don't bother.) At this point, you have a choice- using custard cups or a straight-sided souffle dish that will hold the whole thing. This should be baked using a hot water bath, to prevent toughness of the custard in the end. I sit the custard cups or souffle dish in a glass baking dish large enough to hold all with a little space around it. Add water around the custard cups or souffle dish, bringing the water ar least half way up the side.

Bakind time will vary- about 20 -30 minutes for the cups and 45 to 60 minutes for the one souffle dish. It is done when the sides are set and the center is still a little "jiggly." Do not wait until this is set firm in the oven, or the custard's leftover cooking time once out of the oven will make it too tough. Remove from the oven and the water bath and sit it on a cooling rack for at least one hour, or until very near room temperature. Then refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. When serving, I use whipped cream on top- really makes you feel like you're "cheating!"

On other note of caution. As you know- all ovens are different, so do check your custard near the end, in case your oven is cooking faster than the recommended time. I always check, because my oven has a psychosis- it cooks on whatever temperature it feels like on any given day!


Cheese Crisps courtesy of Pat

Once again, it has been awhile. Life has not been easy lately, so I'm glad to be back. A long time ago I asked for some cheese cracker recipes or something to snack on. Pat has contributed cheese crisps which sound really good. I intend to try these this afternoon, as when the weather turns a little cooler, I seem to want to snack in the evenings. Not to mention, I need to be on guard and have plenty of Atkins friendly stuff on hand. You DO KNOW the carb season has started with Halloween weekend, and will only end after New Years? So here this one is- sounds really easy and quick! Thanks. Pat!

 Cheese Crisps

The reason "recipe" is in quotes is because it has just one ingredient - cheese. I use pepperjack because it has such a good taste when done, but cheddar works - it is just a bit bland. It can be perked up with some garlic/garlic salt.

Preheat the oven to 400. Grate a couple ounces of cheese. Divide it equally into 12 muffin cups. There should be just enough to cover the bottom of the cup. If you put too much in, it doesn't crisp well. Put in the oven and set timer for....well, it really depends on your oven. In one oven I've done eight minutes and others 15, but 10 minutes seems to be about right. You want to cook the cheese until it is uniformly light brown on top (it is usually lighter in the middle). It will bubble and have little holes all over it. Be sure to check it often towards the end of the time until you know how your oven does.

When it is done, take it out of the oven and cool on the stove top for a minute or two then run a fork around the edge of the cheese circles. They should pop right out and can be dried/drained on paper towels.

1-2 ounces of cheese makes about 12 crisps which are great with salads or snacking when you just want something crunchy. Store in a airtight plastic bag or container. I usually refrigerate them if I don't eat them that day, but they seem to be ok without refrigeration if I carry them to eat at work.

Carbs - 0 to 2 depending on the cheese you use.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Continuing Saga of Tightening Skin Courtesy of Doreen

Here is another little addendum that Doreen has given us for tightening skin- re: products she uses. She's so good at feedback on this sort of stuff, I'm sure we'll find out how it works when she has results to repot!

'Saga of Tightening Skin'

I have been using a product called Oxylift believe it or not, it does seem to help. My Dad's angry scowl over my right eye that I inherited almost disappears after a couple uses. and it does help tighten up saggy jowls. I use a facial cleaner, eye cream and night cream from Aubrey, no nasties in it. I just started last night with their Collagen cream from Aubrey. It has soluble collagen and elastins in it so they will penetrate the skin. I then use the Oxylift to help it get to where it is needed!
I'm also using the collagen cream on my inside upper arm area and inner thighs. I was shocked a few months ago by the fact that they have become very yucky! I'll report in a couple weeks if there is an improvement. I also booked a holiday to Punta Cana for Jan. so they better perk up so I can where cooler clothes there!

Foccacia Style Bread Courtesy of Doreen

Where does our Doreen find the time to do all these wonderful posts? She works like crazy and still finds time to be such a valuable member of OFL's! This is her recipe for Foccacia Style Bread, and the good thing is it is suitable for all phases, even newbies to Atkins!

If you are like me, I used to buy all those rough grain Mediterranean style breads. This sounds like a wonderful substitute for that. If, before this WOE, you were a Wonder bread afficianado, this may take some getting used to, but I suggest you broaden your taste buds a bit and give this great bread a try!

Focaccia Style Bread (suitable for all phases)

"I call this "focaccia" because it is baked in that style -- flat on a sheet pan, and then cut up into whatever sized pieces you want. It works for toast, sandwiches, and other bready uses. It is "rough" in texture like heavy whole grain breads. Since it isn't made with wheat, it doesn't have the same kind of grain as wheat breads, but the carb in flax is almost all fiber. Flax is very useful on a low carb diet, as well as being amazingly good for you.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
2 cups flax seed meal (I use Golden Flax Meal)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 Tablespoons sugar equivalent from artificial sweetener
5 beaten eggs
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare pan (a 10X15 pan with sides works best) with oiled parchment paper or a silicone mat.

1) Mix dry ingredients well -- a whisk works well.

2) Add wet to dry, and combine well. Make sure there aren't obvious strings of egg white hanging out in the batter.

3) Let batter set for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken up some (leave it too long and it gets past the point where it's easy to spread.)

4) Pour batter onto pan. Because it's going to tend to mound in the middle, you'll get a more even thickness if you spread it away from the center somewhat, in roughly a rectangle an inch or two from the sides of the pan (you can go all the way to the edge, but it will be thinner).

5) Bake for about 20 minutes, until it springs back when you touch the top and/or is visibly browning even more than flax already is.

6) Cool and cut into whatever size slices you want. I usually cut it into 12.

I layer with wax paper and freeze them also.

Nutritional Information: Each of 12 servings has less than a gram of effective carbohydrate (.7 grams to be exact) plus 5 grams fiber, 6 grams protein, and 185 calories.

"Variations - sprinkle Parmesan, Rosemary, a few finely shredded onion strings or any savory style spices you like. I usually do 1/2 savory 1/2 plain. Use the savory with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce or for open face sandwiches. This is the sandwich solution for steak or chicken sandwiches, chicken or egg salad sandwiches, bacon lettuce tomato sandwiches. I eat the regular as toast for breakfast with cream cheese on it. Could also serve as a great single serve pizza crust."

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Top Ten Anti-Oxidant Foods

After reading Doreen's research on sagging skin and seeing that the anti-oxidants in berries are good, I did a little research of my own. I am one of those weird people who just doesn't really like any fruit, unless it is a red grapefruit or a pomelo I have picked from the tree myself! Talk about food snobs! Well, I no longer visit my brother's house in south Florida, because he has moved back north, so no more avocado, pomelo or  grapefruit trees to pick from! I found this article on the top ten anti-oxidant foods and was pleased to see some of my favorites- tomatoes being at the top of my list! 

This author's way of using some of these foods is not always Atkins friendly, but we can take the information and make it fit our lifestyles!

Tightening Loose Skin- Part III- Courtesy of Doreen

This is the third and final part of the research Doreen did for us. We should all be beautiful and glowing after a while, if we develop a skin care regimen and follow it!

Part 3.

Foods That Tighten Loose Skin

Fatty foods

Fats will be one of your biggest allies at the cellular level. Essential fatty acids, known as EFAs, help with cell growth and repair. Translation: Fatty acids provide a nice wake-up call to that cellular layer, instructing them to regenerate any damaged cells and ultimately, increase elasticity. Monounsaturated fats also provide a nice buffer between any environmental toxins, such as free radicals, and shield the cell wall.
Beneficial fatty foods are from sources such as butter, oils, raw nuts, avocados, seeds, which is another reason to make sure you are keeping your fat consumption at proper Atkin's levels.

Antioxidant-rich foods

Antioxidants have received much hype in the nutrition world and for good reason. Antioxidant-rich foods are like the palace guards at the United Kingdom---they let no intruder into the palace walls. Tightening loose skin is a cellular process that needs to be protected, too. A few free radicals from unhealthy, trans-fat laden foods can worsen loose skin, and antioxidants help the skin stay elastic by protecting the cell layer. Antioxidant-rich foods are blueberries, blackberries, (Atikin's friendly) others for later in the program are pomegranates and any fruit with a rich dark color. The darker the color, the higher the antioxidant level is in the food.

Basically just live healthy. Eat a well balanced, Atkin's diet, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, and exercise daily. If you follow these steps you should start to notice improvement, but remember to be patient. Tightening the loose skin may take time. In the mean time enjoy your weight loss accomplishment. Be proud of yourself and the self improvements you have already made. Don't be hard on yourself because there is still work to be done. After all Rome wasn't built in a single day!

Tightening Loose Skin - Part II- Courtesy of Doreen

What follows is Part II of the wonderful research Doreen has done and saved all us lazy people a whole lot of effort! LOL!

Part 2.

Water Water Water

Drink a lot of water. Keeping your skin well hydrated is essential in improving skin elasticity. If you are not properly hydrated your skin will not have the "Bounce Back" that it once had.
Think of a wrinkly raisin: the reason for the wrinkly exterior is due to the absence of water from the fruit. Your skin operates in a similar manner. Keeping your body hydrated enables fluid to flow between cells, which allows your skin to stay flexible and elastic.

Do not chug a gallon of water and eat nothing but fruit for a week and expect to see instant results. Gaining weight was a minimum nine-month process, so expect that same amount of time to see tangible consequences. On the bright side, a good diet has a number of other benefits, such as improved mood, weight loss, improved hair and nails, and other great side effects.

Skin Care

Moisturize Daily. Moisturizer adds up to 70 percent of moisture to your body and will help your body keep elasticity as you lose weight. Using a moisturizer each and every night will really help you tighten up that loose skin and make it seem less flabby. In order to help keep the moisturizer on your skin you might want to wear cotton long sleeves and pants while you sleep. Before we have a discussion of specific ingredients a moisturizer should have, it's important to educate ourselves a little bit more on skin itself and what makes a product good or poor.

The biggest reason our skin, whether on the face or the rest of the body, develops lines and/or starts to sag, is that the collagen and elastin in our skin begins to break down. This is the most technical this page is going to get, so bear with me for just a sentence or two.

Collagen is a protein that is fibrous in nature. What makes collagen different from other kinds of protein is that it possesses great tensile strength, which means, among other things, it provides firmness to the skin. You don't need to be a scientist, therefore, to understand that as collagen breaks down due to aging, the firmness of our skin becomes...well, less firm. Wrinkles appear and skin starts to sag. You would think that buying a product with collagen in it would be a great thing. And the marketers who sell products that contain collagen know this. But it's a bogus ingredient because collagen molecules are much too large to penetrate into the skin when applied topically.
Elastin, too, is a protein that helps skin stay "flexible" and firm. If your skin is stretched, elastin is the protein that helps it return to its original position.
What all of this means for you is that you do not want to purchase a skin care product that is nothing more than a cream that fills in fine lines and wrinkles, giving the appearance of temporarily nicer skin when it's on...but the illusion shattered when you wash it off. You want a product that contains ingredients that actually stimulate new collagen and elastin production in your skin. If you achieve this, you will, in reality, begin to turn back the clock.

Long, Hot Bath

At least 2 to 3 times a week, relax yourself with an hour-long hot bath. Add ½ lb of pure sea salt or a couple cups of epson salts in the tub, as the water is being drawn. Let the salts dissolve properly and then enter the water. The hot bath will help you relax your entire body and muscles, remove toxins from the skin, and improve your skin's tone.

Use a loofah and a good body scrub at least four times a week in the shower to help tighten your loose skin. Using body scrub will help peel away the dead skin and make the new skin regenerate itself faster which will be tighter than the layer of dead skin. A loofah is a great shower tool to use because it helps scrub away the dead skin gently and it is very soft. You can get both of these items at your local retail store for about seven dollars.

Tightening Loose Skin- Part I Courtesy of Doreen

Once again, our sweet Doreen has done some superb research for us! Several of us had expressed dismay over the fact that we were getting the "sags" in skin here and there due to loosing weight. This is wonderful information and well worth reading all three parts! One thing I might add is that we can provide some collagen to our skin from within by using gelatin. So, here is part I.

 Research on How To Tighten Loose Skin
Part 1

The first step in tightening loose skin is to understand what makes it sag in the first place. Skin is actually an organ. It is amazingly resilient. Skin is designed to stretch as our bodies grow and to shrink as we become smaller. This is the first clue that it may be possible to tighten loose skin mother natures way without the risk of surgery. Very severe cases of loose sagging skin may in fact require a surgical procedure but first try the natural way. Understand that it may take some time to accomplish tight skin again but it is far better to avoid surgery if possible. If you have experienced rapid weight loss such as with weight loss surgery, tightening the excess skin may not be an easy task. It will require hard work and life style changes. As well you will need to be patient. Your skin did not stretch over night and you will not tighten it over night.
If you are just beginning your weight loss journey there are things you can do to help prevent large amounts of sagging skin in the first place. Try to lose weight slowly, about 2 lbs. per week. This will allow your skins elasticity to keep up with the weight loss. As well, when you lose weight rapidly, and without proper amounts of exercise, you lose muscle tone. Muscle acts at a prop preventing skin from becoming loose and drooping.


Now if it is after the fact and you are already experiencing loose skin there are things you can do to improve it. Begin a daily exercise routine. Aerobic and cardio exercises work well. Ab crunches, sit ups and weight lifting are great but even if you just walk 30 minutes a day you will see improvement. Exercise helps tighten the loose skin it two ways. It helps to build muscle tone and it will finish burning any leftover excess fat under the skin. Sometimes although we have reachd our goal weight there is still fat deposits under the skin. The deposits of fat weigh the skin down preventing it from tightening back up.

Another important aspect to losing weight and tightening your skin is to lift weights. Lifting weights is a really important part of being healthy and staying in shape and can help build up your muscles. Lifting weights will turn that flab into muscle and will make you look more lean and toned. You can lift free weights starting out with five to ten pounds and then increase the weights each week. You want to do exercises like lifting free weights about three to four times per week for best skin tightening results.

Stomach crunches will naturally help your loose skin turn into a tighter look because of the abdominal muscles that are used during the exercise. Stomach crunches are very easy to do and you can do them anywhere which is why they are important to for tightening and toning loose skin. If you do not like stomach crunches or your day is so busy you can not do them, sit in your chair and do a similar stomach exercise. If you are someone who is often on the computer or sitting at a desk, take your stomach muscles and push them inward. Breathe in very deep and let your stomach muscles go inward and hold that position. You should hold this position for about two minutes and repeat this exercise at least 10 times. This is a very fast and simple exercise to help tighten loose skin especially if you are sedentary throughout the day.

Along with stomach crunches and lifting weights, you should also be doing regular exercises to help tighten your loose skin. Walking, running, jogging, push-ups, sit ups and bicycling will all help tighten up your loose skin.

You should do aerobic exercises every other day to help tone the loose skin and build your muscles and do anaerobic exercises in between those days. You should also give yourself a rest one day per week so that you do not get burned out on exercising within the first week. It is important you give your muscle groups a rest one day in between exercising with them again so that you do not hurt yourself or injure a particular muscle. Exercising is a very good way to tone your body and tighten your loose skin no matter which area of the body it is at. Building muscle mass is also known to make you appear more toned and help bring back your natural skin elasticity.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Doggone Dog by Sharon

Hi, folks, got to thinking about Sharon's coming CD and thought a little tribute was due to her and her great talent. Being a dog lover, I cry everytime I hear the song she wrote about her Ralphie, who passed away. If you haven't heard it, here is a link to it. If you listen, have Kleenex handy- if you don't cry, you are a colder person than most! Give a listen and let Sharon know how much talent she has. She is a real asset to the OFL's! I know I'm buying her coming CD!

Important for Low Carbers- Vitamin D Levels- Courtesy of Judy

One of our newer members of the family, Judy, contributed this information about Vitamin D. I never realized it could cause cardiac problems! So, I think this is information we all need to read!
Few people know that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to heart attack and stroke. Sometimes that's what it is. Here is a link to WebMD where they talk about it: and PubMed I

Eggplant- Mini Burger Stir Fry Courtesy of Sharon

Our composer and singer, Sharon from Israel contributed this stir fry recipe using eggplant and mini burgers. Sounds really good! We are getting beautiful eggplants right now in Florida, so I intend to try this one. Doesn't sound too time-consuming, either.

I invented something so good for dinner yesterday -- oiled the wok, stir-fried an eggplant peeled and cut into cubes with a few cloves of garlic cut in quarters, then took a pound of ground beef with some scallions chopped up into it and made a whole bunch of mini-burgers about as big as the circle between your thumb and forefinger. When they were just barely done (medium rare), I put them into the wok with the eggplant and added soy sauce and a little cracked pepper and tossed them gently around a bit. If I had had any sesame seeds I'd have thrown them in at that point. It was *so* good even without the sesame seeds, though. 

Atkins Friendly Fresh Cranberry Sauce Courtesy of Doreen

Well, again I haven't posted in a while due to my mother's illness. All has calmed a bit and I have some time to myself, so am making and effort to catch up.

I know our Canadian friends have already had Thanksgiving, but all of us from the US have it fast-approaching. And who wants a turkey dinner without cranberry sauce? I just looked at a can of whole berry cranberry sauce I have in the pantry, and about had a heart attack when I saw the carb listing! Doreen has solved that for us! Here is her version of Atkins friendly cranberry sauce. Thanks, Doreen!

I make a kind of low carb cranberry sauce. For 1 bag of cranberries you add 1 Cup Splenda and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a slow boil, the berries will start to pop. I take a potato masher and help them along! If it is not thick enough add a little xanthan gum. Put it in sealer jars and yummy! Nothing tastes better than homemade cranberry sauce!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cinnamon Crispy Pork Rinds Courtesy of Doreen

Once again, Doreen has contributed another recipe that our OFL's have been trying and it is a good one for a snack. She found this in "Linda's Low Carb Recipes."

1 ounce pork rinds
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cinnamon/granular Splenda mix
or Truvia or any granular SF sweetner

Spread the pork rinds out in a single layer on a dinner plate. Drizzle the butter all over them then sprinkle them liberally with the cinnamon/Splenda mixture. If you like, you can warm them for about 20-30 seconds in the microwave.

Makes 1 serving
Do not freeze
1 ounce of pork rinds will pretty much cover a dinner plate in a single layer. I tried to select pork rinds that were somewhat flat but any shape will work. I didn't measure the cinnamon and Splenda because I already had some mixed in a shaker jar. I'd guess you may need about a teaspoon or two of Splenda and 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. The counts are based on 2 teaspoons Splenda and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Per Serving: 289 Calories; 28g Fat; 13g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb

Pumpkin Pie Courtesy of Doreen

Well, for our Canadian friends, Thanskgiving is here, and for the ones of us in the US, it is fast approaching next month. So, our dear OFL Doreen contributed a really delicious sounding recipe for Atkins friendly pumpkin pie! I will definitely be trying this one, because I have picked up numerous pecans from the new crop under our trees (what I could beat the squirrels to!) And my brother is in the mountains of North Carolina and will bring home fresh pumpkins BTW, I have made numerous pies with the canned pumpkin, but it is amazing how good the fresh pumpkin makes a pie. Here is Doreen's recipe:

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Crust

2 Cups shelled raw pecans (I add 1/2 C Almonds too)
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 Tbls Splenda
1 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
4 Tbls butter melted
2 Tbls water

Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin (not the pie filling one)
1 1/2 Cups heavy cream
3 eggs
3/4 Cup Splenda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 Tbls pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg)

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Put the pecans and almonds and salt in a food processor with the S blade in place. Pulse until the nuts are chopped to a medium consistency.
3. Add the Splenda, molasses, and butter and pulse again until well blended. Add the water and pulse again until combined. At this point you'll have a soft sticky mass.
4. Spray a 10" pie plate with nonstick cooking spray or butter it well. Turn the nut mixture into it and press firmly in place all over the bottom and up the sides by 1 1/2" or so. Try to get it an even thickness with no holes and if you wish run a finger or knife around the top edge to get an even, nice looking line.
5. Bake for about 18 minutes (I did 10 because it burns) Remove and cool
6. Increase the oven temp to 425F
7. Combine the pumpkin, heavy cream, eggs, Splenda, salt, molasses, and spice in a bowl and whisk together well. Pour into the prebaked and cooled pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes then lower oven temp to 350F and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

Yield: 8 servings, each with 14 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, Net carbs of 10 grams and 6 grams protein

I used a 28 oz can of pumpkin so I doubled the filling mix and baked the rest in ramekins. I liked them better than with the crust plus it will lower the carbs by a lot.

Barbecue Pork Rinds- The A Friendly Way!

Well once again our dear OFL Doreen has supplied us with a delicious recipe! This is for barbecue pork rinds without any carbs to speak of. I haven't tried them yet, due to long periods at the hospital with my mother, but I have tried the rub in the past on pork, and it is delicious! It can only improve the pork rinds.

Here it it:

A quick btw, for anybody who wants a savory snack I made pork rinds using the classic barbecue rub mix over the butter, and I also did some using a BBQ seasoning I buy at the health food store (there is no sugars in it at all) and both turned out really yummy. I use the rub seasoning mix on a lot of stuff now. The next batch I make I'm going to cut back on the sweetner by half though. Here is the recipe again.

Classic Barbecue Rub ( from The Low Carb Barbecue Book)
¼ cup splenda
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp celery salt
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp sage
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp cayenne

Combine everything, stir well, and store in a shaker. Sprinkle heavily over just about anything, but especially over pork ribs and chicken.

Yield: Makes just over 2/3 cup, or roughly 12 tbsp.

3 grams of carbs, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams net carbs, 1 gram protein

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Attention All Diabetics and Pre-Diabetics!

As most of you know, I'm (as Dr. Mike Eades puts it) mad as hell at the pharmaceutical industry! I was browsing through Dana Carpender's blog "Hold the Toast" a while ago and came across this post. Once again, I saw red! It reminded me of my aunt who died of complications during surgery to amputate her foot. She was a Type I diabetic from her teen years, and taught all the nonsense of low fat, high carb eating, and to just cover anything she ate too much of with a little more insulin! Her doctor was ignorant and probably believed the lies of the pharmaceutical reps who came around giving free samples and spouting their lies! These very lies cost her her life! How many people have to suffer before we become wise to the pharmaceutical industry?? Anyway, enough of me- have a read of what Dana has to say:

American Diabetes Association ties to Big Pharma

Those of us in the low carb community have long shaken our heads, wondering why, oh why, the American Diabetes Association still insists that the best diet for people with severely impaired carbohydrate metabolisms is a low fat diet loaded with starch -- aka "lots of sugar holding hands." The research and clinical experience of doctors like Dr. Richard Bernstein and Dr. Mary Vernon seems to affect them not at all. Nor do years of positive clinical research, or the stories of millions of diabetics who have controlled their blood sugar through low carbohydrate diets.
They also seem oblivious to the fact that before hypoglycemic medication was invented, low carbohydrate diets were commonly recommended for diabetics: Dr. John Rollo, Surgeon General in the Royal Artillery of the British Army being credited as the first modern doctor to recommend such a diet for treatment of the disease. This text, Diabetes Mellitus and Its Treatment, by R.T. Williamson MD, was published in 1898, and includes this statement:Ever since Rollo published his book on diabetes in 1797, and pointed out the value of restriction of the carbohydrates in the food, it has been acknowledged that of all forms and methods of treatment this dietetic one is the most important.
Yet the ADA continues to recommend a diet of the very foods that destabilize blood sugar, instructing diabetics to "cover" those "healthy" carbs with higher and higher doses of medication -- this, despite it being generally recognized that tight blood sugar control is the most important preventive of diabetic complications. Why?
Take a look at this: a list of the ADA's top corporate sponsors. See the "Banting level" sponsors, the biggest bankrollers of the ADA? All but one of them are pharmaceutical companies. The remaining one -- BD -- is a medical supplies corporation whose business includes "diabetes care" and "pharmaceutical systems. All of them make money off of diabetes. All of them. They are all making money, very big money, off of diabetes medications. I question whether those sponsors have any corporate interest in diabetes interventions that would dramatically lessen the quantity of drugs diabetics have to take.
The Bible says "A man cannot serve two masters." The same holds true of a corporation. And for any publicly traded corporation, their "master," their main and driving goal, must be shareholder profits. Legally, ethically, that is their greatest responsibility. Not one of these companies can, therefore, have the health of diabetics, their toes, their kidneys, their eyesight, as their greatest concern. Their greatest concern is, must be, the bottom line. Anything that reduces shareholder profits is inimical to their mission.
I don't know if the folks at the ADA are actually doing the Mr. Burns finger-steeple-ing thing, intoning "Excellent!," as they plot the further enslavement of diabetics to their Big Pharma corporate masters. I actually doubt it. On the other hand, I can't help but think that thirteen companies (Hmm. I just counted them. That there's thirteen of 'em just seems so... theatrical.), each contributing a minimum of a cool mil a year, have at least a modest degree of influence.

Snack Attack Tip Courtesy of Doreen

Once again, Doreen has given us a little more variety for our low-carb eating! This idea for snacking came from Linda's Low Carb Recipes. Doreen made the comment that these could also be turned into a savory snack using sea salt and garlic or other savory spices. I love that idea, as I've never been a heavy sweets snacker! I'm not really qualified to comment, as I haven't tried this yet, but I can just see those beautiful big salt crystals and taste the garlic! 

Quick Snack Attack Tip

1 ounce pork rinds
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cinnamon/granular Splenda mix
or Truvia or any granular SF sweetner

Spread the pork rinds out in a single layer on a dinner plate. Drizzle the butter all over them then sprinkle them liberally with the cinnamon/Splenda mixture. If you like, you can warm them for about 20-30 seconds in the microwave.

Makes 1 serving
Do not freeze

1 ounce of pork rinds will pretty much cover a dinner plate in a single layer. I tried to select pork rinds that were somewhat flat but any shape will work. I didn't measure the cinnamon and Splenda because I already had some mixed in a shaker jar. I'd guess you may need about a teaspoon or two of Splenda and 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. The counts are based on 2 teaspoons Splenda and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Per Serving: 289 Calories; 28g Fat; 13g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb

Linda's Comments-
Although I don't care for snacking on pork rinds plain because they tend to be very dry and stick in my throat. However, pouring melted butter over them solves this problem and the cinnamon mixture makes them unbelievably tasty. You may be able to get by with just a tablespoon of butter but I'm trying to get more fat in my diet so I went all out. It's the little pools of melted butter inside the pork rinds blending with the cinnamon mixture that make these so yummy so try not to skimp on the butter. Whatever you do, don't wear a black shirt while eating these! By the time I was finished munching, I was covered in pork rind dust. I polished these off before I even had time to get out my camera to take a picture.

Copied from Linda's Low Carb Recipes

I found them very tastey indeed!!

Flax Meal Bread Courtesy of Becky

This recipe from Becky is definitely a keeper! And you don't have to be low-carbing it to like it. I tried it out on my parents today- toasted slices under the broiler and spread with cream cheese- they loved it! And variations of what to put in the bread are endless. When I made it, I used 1/2 cup of grated zucchini and pecans instead of walnuts. It was wonderful!

Flax Bread 1 1/4 Cups ground flax meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 Cup sugar (Splenda)
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
1/8 cup blueberries, cranberries, craisins
or raisins or zucchini or applesauce
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon plus vanilla or any other flavor
5 Eggs
1/8 cup plus a tad of any fat (I use butter or sour cream)

Bake in greased loaf pan at 350, 35 minutes in a convection oven.\ (Sugar and raisins are for my Dad who needs to gain weight)

Take 1/5 of this recipe ( except baking powder still need at least a quarter tsp) combine in a small bowl or cup and microwave for about 2 minutes for a MIM

One other comment I had about this- dried fruits such as raisins and craisins are very sugar concentrated, so if you're not on maintenance or at least phase three with Atkins, they should be avoided pretty much. I also used almond extract instead of vanilla because I was out of vanilla and it worked fine. I just used one teaspoon. Thanks Becky for adding a little more variety to our low-carbing life!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

MIM's Pizza Dough

Well, I thought I'd better comment here, since I don't want anyone disappointed if they try the MIM's pizza recipe. I got an email from a friend last night (I had previously given her the recipe.) She informed me that the dough was in no way like a real pizza dough, and she was disappointed!

I don't think I conveyed that the dough was the same as the yeast risen dough you would get in a pizza. If I did, I'm sorry. I only said that this pizza solved my craving. When I used to eat the "real" pizza, I was one of those who was mostly interested in the toppings in the first place- the more the better. The dough basically kept the toppings from falling on the floor! That being said, flax meal used in this dough isn't flour- will never taste like flour. But, those of us on low carb (at least the first stages) have given up wheat flour. 

Sometime in the future, I will toy with doing a yeast-risen dough with the flax., and report back- I still don't think it will taste like yeast risen flour! Meanwhile, I'm not really trying to make foods I eat now exactly like foods I've given up- I'm only trying to make recipes that are tasty and satisfying!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Belly Fat and Carb Cravings as Related to Cortisol and Stress

As usual, I try to do something constructive during "off" hours, rather than just stare mindlessly at another cooking show. So, I've really been wondering why my size is descreasing, but it seems that my waist is lagging FAR BEHIND! 

So, I went to the mighty guru Google and just typed in belly fat, and lo and behold, I found some amazing stuff, after wading through miracle pill twenty-four hour solutions! I'm still researching and am trying to get more organized, but I think I have found my answer- or at least part of it. Seems our body has a hormone called cortisol, which is very necessary and useful in normal amounts. But people with stress secrete more of the hormone, also known as the "flight or fight" hormone. We are supposed to become calm and let our cortisol level return to normal when the stress is over. But, if we don't, we retain excess amount of cortisol and it seems it plays a dirty trick on us- settles around our middle and tells us to eat more carbs!

There are those of us who are in a state of "chronic stress," that is nothing horrible, but some stress all the time and that seems to do the same thing as having a period of horrible stress that we don't relax after. According to what I'm reading, chronic stress can be something as simple as not sleeping well, just daily obligations that you never get relief from, constant pain from some nagging thing, not enough emotional support, etc. 

So, now, I'm investigating more, especially how to relieve some of this stress in simple, non-expensive ways. And, of course a little more of the science involved. As soon as some of this is more organized in a coherent way, I'll post it. Meanwhile, this is just a brief look at this situation:

MIM's "Pizza"

I think I've watched too much TV lately, and the proof is that I found myself really wanting a Pizza Hut greasy pizza last night. I never did buy that stuff! It always gave me indigestion. I guess I've seen too many commercials for pizza that the food stylists have really worked over! Anyway, last night, I decided to solve that craving- so here it is:

Mim's Pizza

Batter for two MIM's minus cinnamon or sweeteners
1 Tablespoon grated Pecorino Romano cheese
about 5 ounces ground chuck, or any other ground meat your prefer- or none; pepperoni, etc.ohh
1 large tomato cut into large dice
1/2 red onion cut into fine slices- or any other onion you have
1/2 green or red bell pepper diced (not too fine)
6 to 8 white mushrooms sliced
6 to 8 baby portabellas sliced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano  and Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon each garlic and onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce

Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese grated

Make the batter for two MIM's without the cinnamon and sweeteners, stirring in the Pecorino Romano cheese This is the cheese you get like the dried parmesan in the can, although I think the fresh would work as well. You can omit entirely if you don't have it.

Use cooking spray in the bottom of a 9 x 14 baking pan (or whatever you have). Spread the MIM mixture on it, making it a little thinner in the center- bake at 350 degrees till just done- my psychotic oven only took about twelve minutes- but I never know what temp it is at any given time! I made mine a little crusty at the edges. Set aside in the pan to dry and rest.

In a non-stick pan, crumble and saute the meat until brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add all veggies except the tomatoes and saute' till just tender. Add tomatoes and herbs, along with salt and pepper to taste and simmer gently till a little of the tomato juice is cooked out. You don't want it watery to put on your pizza. I set the sauce aside in the pan then to cool a bit before putting on the MIM crust, the object here being that a cooler sauce will not seep down in the crust and make it soggy. Spread this onto the MIM crust, and then crumble the ground chuck on the top. Cover with grated mozzarella and parmesan. Return to the 350 oven and just bake till the cheese is beginning to get bubbly and brown. Cool slightly and cut into squares and serve. Serves at least two hearty eaters. For me 1/4 is enough with a salad.

As usual, this recipe lends itself to endless variations, depending on what you like. I just used what I had in the house. The crust was near enough to pizza crust and ridiculously easy to make! God bless whoever created the MIM! It made a nice meal with a salad and ended that ridiculous Pizza Hut craving!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Meatza Pizza Courtesy of Doreen

Wow, all the OFL's are active today! I'm barely keeping up with posts for everyone on here. Anyway, this is the recipe that Doreen uses for meatza pizza. Like the last recipe, this looks so versatile that you could put just about anything on it- as much or as little. But, it would be an excellent way to get those veggies carbs up!

 Meatza Pizza

Here is the meatza recipe (of sorts, I kind of improvise alot)

Meatza Pizza
•About 1¼ to 2 lbs. hamburger - (up to half can be Italian sausage)
•1 teaspoon salt
•½ teaspoon pepper
•1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
•2 teaspoons oregano and Italian spice
•Sugar free spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce
•Cheese,mozza, grated
•Pizza toppings such as mushrooms, green or red pepper, onions, pepperoni, salami, etc.
Mix the meat, salt and spices together(save some of the Italian spice for later), and spread the meat out on a baking sheet with sides (such as a jelly roll pan). I cover my pan with tinfoil to make clean up easier. You want the meat spread thin, but without holes. Sometimes I make it in a sort of oblong with rounded corners. I sprinkle more spice on top before baking. Bake in a 375° F. oven for about 10 minutes or until done. Pour off the grease regularly. When done cover the meat with sugar-free pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce (in most places the spaghetti sauce is much easier to find, and works great). Cover with your choice of pizza toppings - we like the hot pepperoni and lots of veggies and the grated cheese. Bake again until cheese is melted and browned. Before serving I slice fresh tomatoes and put them on top then sprinkle with a little parmessan cheese.

Chicken and Zucchini Stir Fry Courtesy of Pat

Pat, one of our newest members of the OFL's is going great guns on Phase I of Atkins, and has already developed a new recipe! This is totally Atkins friendly and suitable for all phases.

When I was a chef in an Italian restaurant I used a lot of zucchini, and the amazing thing about this particular vegetable is just how versatile it is, depending on the ingredients combined with it! Those of you who think you don't like veggies, try this one- the tomatoes turn the zucchini into something delectable! Also, if you like more herbs or peppers or anything else with this, it is easily turned into your own favorite. Thanks Pat! 

Chicken and Zucchini Stir-Fry

Here is my new recipe - I don't usually measure anything. The ingredients are for one person, but last night, I made it for seven and it came out just as well. For those who haven't tried or aren't wild about zuchini, this recipe seems to do wonders for the stuff. We used up 4 zuchinis from our garden last night - they are bigger than store bought, but not the big hunkers you get if you miss picking one!

1-2 slices of bacon
1/2 large chicken breast - cut into bite-sized pieces
1 heaping cup zuchini pieces (peeled)
1 green onion - cut into 1/4 in pieces (green and white parts)
1/4 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese (1 oz)
8-10 cherry tomatoes-cut in half
garlic salt
poultry seasoning (about 1/4 tsp)
Salt and Pepper to taste- late in cooking time

For just myself, I use a non-stick fry pan. For the whole family, I used a large deep stir fry pan.

Cut the bacon into 1/4 inch slices. Stir fry until done. Remove to paper towels to drain. Pour off fat. In whatever fat remains in the pan, cook the chicken. I usually cook the chicken first then cut it into bite-sized pieces but you could cut it up then cook it. When the chicken is almost done, add the zuchini pieces (peel the zuchini, cut into quarters lengthwise, then slice into about 1/4 pieces). Continue to stir fry until zuchini has softened (about 2 minutes for a single serving).
Sprinkle with garlic salt and poultry seasoning, stirring to mix well. I use very little salt - probably 1/4 tsp. Add the bacon pieces, tomato, and green onions, cooking only enough to heat the tomatoes thoroughly.

Serve - covering each portion with cheese.

It looks pretty until everyone mixes in their cheese! :)

I hope everyone who tries it enjoys it! I'm off to the store to try Gabby's recipe for Beef Stock. Have a great day!

Dr. Ornish- "Let's Not Eat Anything That Had a Mother!" HUH??

Have a listen to this CNN video with Dr. Ornish, the medical director of the Huffington Post about Bill Clinton's weight loss. These docs will have much to answer for one day!

And when we all finish watching this, in unison, let's clap our hands over our ears and shout loudly, "WE CAN'T HEAR YOU!!"

Dr. Micahel Eades- "Mad as Hell"

Good morning- as you all know, I'm pretty reactionary, but after reading and reading, I feel I have the right! Just read this article by Dr. Michael Eades re: low carb life and the total ignorance of the greatest majority of the medical community. He is an excellent, intelligent writer and also well worth the read.

I have basically tired of talking to my doc and others of the benefits of low carb lifestyle. It's like they all clap their hands over their ears and say loudly, "I can't HEAR you!" This makes me mad as hell too, Mike! Even though I am living proof of what low carb has done for me, and what the pharmaceutical companies via my doctor were doing to me with statins. Soooo. I continue to do research, and my next doc visit I will go armed with a paper portfolio of articles about the low carb and also about statins, and how horrible they truly are! Will she read it? I don't know, but if she continues to tell me to consider statins and the ADA diet, maybe I should clap my hands over MY ears and say, "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

Take a little time and have a read:

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Mad" Article in the Huffington Post- from Dana Carpender's Blog

I don't know how many of you read Dana Carpender's blog, but she is a low carb guru and author. She is well worth the read! The other day I discovered one of her posts and she was indignant because the Huffington Post had promoted a doctor to medical director, who seemingly lives his life to prove Dr. Atkins a killer.

Well, today I came across this post of hers with a link to an article in the Huffington Post. She said they had almost redeemed themselves. Those of you who know me also know I can get quite angry about the criminality of the pharmaceutical industry and the seeming ignorance of the medical community. This article is worth your time. Good to know that I'm not the only one who thinks this way!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Attention- Type II Diabetics!!

If you are smong the thousands of people who have type two diabetes and are being treated by oral medication, this is for you! If you are not, this is just one more example of the irresponsible drug companies in our country- they lie, they cover up testing results- all for the almighty dollar! Anyway, this is from the New York Times and should be read! You just cannot believe the hype you see from drug companies about their various drugs!!

Beef Stock versus Beef Broth

Good morning everyone. Yesterday, I made a big pot of beef stock. From the start I should say you can certainly make less at one time by cutting the recipe down, but if I'm going to the trouble I make a lot at once and freeze it in smaller batches of either cups or pints, depending on what containers I have not in use.

In case anyone here doesn't know the difference, let me clear up one thing- the difference between beef broth and beef stock. My neighbor came by yesterday and said something smelled good. I told her I was making beef stock. She asked why I didn't just buy the canned broth in the grocery store- it's the same thing. I beg to differ. I'm not saying that beef broth can't be good in and of itself, but beef stock just has more depth of flavor and richness to it. The difference is that the bones are roasted along with the vegetables before being simmered in stock. Broth is made by just simmering beef and bones in water with the seasonings. Once you try it, you'll see what I mean. So here's how it's done at my house.

Beef Stock


7 or 8 pounds of beef bones sawed into 2 or 3 inch pieces ( I go to one store here in town that cuts all their own meat and they will sell me bones with very little meat very cheaply. Another option is to ask for soup bones. Most meat departments will sell them to you, if they have access to a meat saw)

2 large onions, cut in quarters ( don't bother to peel- the peel adds flavor and color, and gets strained out at the end)
2 stalks of celery with the leaves, cut in thirds
2 large carrots cut into thirds
1 leek, split down the middle, cleaned and then cut into halves
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled and chopped in half
8 peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme

tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
8 quarts of water

Note: Almost every recipe I see has more pepper than mine and salt. I prefer to keep the pepper lighter and omit the salt until I'm actually going to use the stock in a recipe.

Pre-heat oven to 350

Spread the bones in a roasting pan in one layer. place in the oven and roast for one hour, turning bones over after the first thirty minutes. Take out of the oven and turn over again, and lightly spread tomato paste over the bones. Add the vegetables on top, up the oven to 400 degrees, and roast all till the bones and vegetables are browned, about thirty to forty minutes, depending on your oven. The longer the roasting time without burning anything, the more depth of flavor!

When bones and veggies are brown, place the pan on the stove top of medium heat and use the wine to deglaze the pan and get all the bits of flavor stuck to the bottom. Place all in a large stock pot ( I use a large canner for this.) Add 8 quarts of water. Bring all to a low boil, turn heat down to a simmer, and let simmer lightly for about four hours, or until reduced a bit. I guage the reduction by when the water level in the pot has gone down an inch or a little more. At this point, I remove bones and veggies with a slotted spoon and discard. Simmer for at least another hour to reduce the stock more. Then strain it. When cool enough, place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, the fat will have congealed on top, and is easily removed. Yes, low carbers, I do remove the fat, because I prefer to add fat to the stock when making various recipes. I then freeze it in containers of either one cup or pints, ready for use in many recipes.

I know this sounds like a lot to make beef stock, but when you do you will see it's worth the taste and you deserve it! I save stock making for a day when there isn't a lot of running to do (preferably rainy and/or cold.) And there is absolutely nothing like the beef vegetable soup this will make for a cold day- talk about comfort food!

There are many variations to what veggies to use in the stock. Many people use a parsnip or two cut in big chunks, etc. Some totally omit the tomato paste and/or wine. This doesn not have a tomato flavor when done, but I think it adds flavor to the stock. If you don't want to use wine, deglaze with a cup of water.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Formula for Figuring LDL Courtesy of Dana Carpender

This morning, on our forum of Old Fat Ladies, I mentioned that most doctors have no idea of how LDL  is actually figured and that the lower our triglycerides go, the higher the LDL because of the formula. IF your triglycerides are above 100, the formula works pretty well, but if they go lower, the formula give false results.  Sooo, I went back to Dana's original blog post so you could read it for yourself and here is the quote. Verrry interesting!! You'll notice I copied and pasted the entire thing, just in case you want to read, but put the formula is in a different color for you.

Dr. Atkins Is Rolling In His Grave

Heck, he's on a freakin' rotisserie! Will the slanders and misuses of my hero's name ever stop? First it was all those people claiming to be "doing Atkins" when they hadn't read word one of the book and were just making it up as they went along. At the same time we had all the "journalists" who criticized the diet without bothering to read it either. (You could tell because they'd always claim that "The Atkins diet only allows 20 grams of carbohydrate a day!" as if Induction were the whole diet. Either that, or they'd call it a "no-carb" diet, or an "all-meat" diet.)
Then came the cries of "Oh, look, Dr. Eggs-and-Bacon had a heart attack!" when Dr. A suffered cardiac arrest because of viral cardiomyopathy. (Even the American Heart Association, no fan of the Atkins Diet, made a public statement that as far as they could determine Dr. Atkins' heart trouble had nothing to do with his diet.) And I've seen many claims online that Dr. Atkins' well-documented slip-and-fall head injury was a sham. Oh, no, they claim, he really died of a heart attack.
After that, the ghouls at the PETA-run "Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine" (an organization only 5% of which is made up of physicians) got a hold of Dr. Atkins' final medical records and claimed he'd been obese when he died, even though those same records showed he'd been a normal weight when admitted to the hospital -- he blew up cruelly with water due to steroids and intravenous fluids.
It was laughable in an ugly sort of a way. Dr. Atkins had been all over television in the last year of his life; had he been obese it would have been impossible to hide it. It's none of my business, and I'm certain that she had enough to cope with just handling the grief of widowhood, but I have cherished the hope ever since that Veronica Atkins sued the ever-loving crap out of the doctor who made her husband's confidential medical records public.
Six years after his death, the indignities continue. Have you heard about "Eco-Atkins?"
It just irritates the life out of the low fat faithful, and especially the moral vegetarians that, despite dire predictions, the Atkins diet, replete with animal fat and cholesterol, not only doesn't cause sky-high blood cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, etc, but actually improves risk factors more than a low fat diet does. Yep, Atkins consistently eats the low fat diet's lunch (after discarding the bread) in tests of cardiovascular risk factors, dramatically lowering triglycerides, raising HDL cholesterol, and improving ratios all the way around. A low fat diet -- especially one based on carby stuff like whole grains and beans -- sometimes lowers total cholesterol a bit, but results in low HDL and high triglycerides.
So Professor David Jenkins of the University of Toronto decided to pick on LDL.
It is true that LDL does not generally drop tremendously on a low carb diet, and even occasionally appears to rise a bit. It is also true that the rise in HDL and the drop in triglycerides means that the all-important ratios improve dramatically; I am completely unconvinced that LDL, in and of itself, means much of anything.
More importantly, the rise in LDL is largely illusory. How is that? I only learned recently.
It turns out that LDL is seldom measured directly, because it is difficult and expensive to do so. Instead, LDL is calcuated. The formula used to calculate it is this: Total cholesterol - (HDL + triglycerides/5) = LDL. Apparently this is fairly accurate if triglycerides are above 100 and under 250.
However, low carb diets drop triglycerides to rock-bottom levels. It is not only common but usual for low carbers to have triglyceride levels well under 100. Last time I had mine tested they were at 39. Try that with a low fat, high carb diet! Our low triglycerides skew the results of this equation, leading to artificially high LDL numbers -- in those of us whose LDL goes up at all.
Indeed, on that same test where my triglycerides showed up at 39, my LDL was just a little high; my doctor expressed concern. I said, "You know and I know that that LDL is calculated by subtracting HDL and triglycerides divided by five from my total cholesterol. I could lower my LDL by raising my triglycerides..." She laughed and said, "Bad idea," and admitted I was right.
But Dr. Jenkins is fixated on LDL. His career has been built around the notion of using plant foods to lower LDL. Maybe it didn't occur to Dr. Jenkins that the LDL equation skews results for those of us with very low triglycerides. Maybe he's so invested in the idea that plant foods are the most important that he just couldn't accept the repeated clinical tests demonstrating not just the safety, but the superiority of the Atkins nutritional program. So he decided to come up with "better" version -- a version that would lower LDL. What did he devise? A "low carb" vegan diet.
I put "low carb" in quotes because this insult to Robert Atkins' memory actually includes a whopping 130 grams per day of carbohydrate. Jenkins did this because it's the minimum "recommended amount." In other words, he didn't really want to test a low carb diet, just a lower carb diet than the usual vegetarian grain-and-bean fest. And of course, it's hellishly hard to get enough food on a vegan diet without eating grains and beans. Anyway, Jenkins knows that whole grains are healthful, so he included some. Dr. Jenkins also lowered protein as compared to Dr. Atkins instructions; again, it's hard to get tons of protein on a vegan diet.
The protein in Jenkins' reduced carb vegan diet was largely derived from soy and gluten products, which were apparently used with abandon, despite being two of the foods most likely to cause sensitivities. Soy has plenty of problems, ranging from interfering with mineral absorption to messing with the thyroid gland to possibly causing cognitive decline. Gluten is implicated not only in gut disorders, but also in many autoimmune diseases. Still, apparently these were deemed safer than animal foods, because they don't have the eeeevul saturated animal fat.
This lower-carb vegan diet was tested against a standard high carb vegetarian diet, rather than against the actual Atkins diet. Unsurprisingly, the diet with fewer carbs did give better results than the diet with more carbs. LDL was lowered a bit. This says exactly nothing about the Atkins diet.
I don't grudge Dr. Jenkins his study. I think a diet based on soy and gluten is potentially dangerous, but clearly he disagrees with me, and he's got the right to explore the various permutations of that. Dr. Atkins thought, and I agree, that animal fats were healthful, and dietary cholesterol a non-issue. Again, Dr. Jenkins clearly disagrees, and he has the right to base his studies on his perceptions, although he does seem to be trying to prove what he already believes, rather than to find out anything new.
I object very much, however, to the appellation "Eco-Atkins." This sort of coat-tail riding is particularly offensive when the diet so called is antithetical to most of Bob Atkins wrote, said, and promoted.
Too, the name suggests a whole different motivation than health, doesn't it? It's not "Healthier Atkins" or "Vegan Atkins" or "LDL-Lowering Atkins." No, they're calling it "Eco-Atkins." The whole thing smacks strongly of ecological guilt-tripping.
I try to be at least moderately ecologically conscious, but I draw the line at eating a diet that makes me fat, sick and tired in the name of living green. Further, I deny that livestock agriculture has to be terribly ecologically damaging. A return to grass-fed and pasture-raised meats would do much to reduce the ecological impact of meat and egg farming, be kinder to the animals, and produce nutritionally superior food, to boot. It is factory farming and feedlot stuffing of animals that causes most of the impact, not the simple existence of livestock.
But I digress. My point is that the diet in this study, touted in the press as a "healthier form of Atkins," has not been demonstrated to be healthier than Atkins, only healthier than the supposedly wonderful, heart-healthy, grain-and-bean diet of your average vegetarian. It pirates Dr. Atkins name, while promoting something antithetical to his work. And it appears to have actually been aimed at something other than improving health in the first place.
If your diet is so great, let it find an audience on its own merits. Don't try to gain an audience by stealing the name of my hero to promote something that would have drawn only derision from the man.

One other note here- Dana Carpender is kind of a hero figure to me. I have found her research to be generally flawless, and if she does discover a small error, she corrects it immediately. So, her info can be trusted!