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Another side of eating low-carb - freeing up my mind and emotions

Monday, November 04, 2013

The thoughts that I am writing down are very much spur of the moment impressions, not to be weighed too heavily or taken as absolute truth.
I noticed today that food has started taking on a different role in my life, at the same time more important and much less important.
When I was eating a much higher carb diet many a waking moment was spent either eating, planning the next meal, buying food or deciding when to eat next, also how to avoid eating too soon again. The total amount of energy devoted to food was huge.
Food was one of the greatest pleasures of my life and I knew I'd better be really smart about finding ways to be able to continue enjoying it without hurting my health. So I became good at cooking, baking and otherwise preparing food. I improvised a great deal, modified recipes and tried new combinations. I also spent more money on higher quality food. All of this was a necessary and good step in the process of getting healthier.

Food now has become less important in the sense that I don't have to constantly think about which foods I can have.
I avoid all highly processed foods, all grains including rice, all legumes (beans, peas, lentils), starchy vegetables like potatoes, sugar, high-sugar fruit by not keeping them in the kitchen and staying out of restaurants for the most part.
Everything else I eat and combine in any way I feel like, paying little attention to traditional meal choices unless I feel like them.
I make meals based on what's in season (in our garden or local) and what's available for a good price.
I don't worry about meal times or eating regularly. My body can sustain itself from body fat for several days if necessary without any problem.
My preferred drink, water, is always there (Thank God for this blessing which we often take for granted) and I can make tea or decaf if I feel like a hot drink in cold weather. Not having to haul soda, juice, beer and wine and other heavy beverages must save at least one shopping trip a week.
My family has also gotten creative (I guess out of necessity since I don't cook 3 square meals a day emoticon ) and help themselves to whatever their heart desires whenever they feel like.
Common meal time is now truly about spending time together, not necessarily all eating the same food. It used to annoy me if there was a lot of conversation happening during meal time (kind of embarrassing to admit but true) because it kept me from enjoying my food while it is still hot. Now I truly enjoy talking more and listening to what people have to say. I don't even feel the need to shove food in my mouth while someone else is talking.
The other thing that has gotten easier is to get things done, anything: cleaning the house, doing the laundry, reading a good book, exercising, going shopping, spending time with people who are important to me, all of this is not interrupted by thoughts about food any more than by my breathing or my pulse. Just like my breathing, digestion and pulse are happening without conscious thought, eating is something that is very important, it sustains me with all the replacement parts that my body needs. It is also pleasurable at times. But it is much more in the background.
Do any low-carbers know what I'm talking about?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLKL1980 11/5/2013 5:56PM

    Birgit - I have been noticing the same thing for about 3 or 4 weeks now. And that is what has been the best thing about lowcarbing for me - the cravings just stop. And if they do occur for me, it's because I have let the carbs creep back up on me. But I know I can fix that very simply now just by getting back into ketosis again.

Great Blog!


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-HEALTHYAMY 11/5/2013 9:34AM

    My hope is to get where you are. I want to stop obsessing about the scale says and stop thinking so much about what I should and not be eating. I am less obsessed about my next meal by following LC but I have some work to do. Thanks for blogging.

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ERIN1957 11/5/2013 6:14AM

    I am striving for what you are experiencing.
I am finding a new found freedom in the kitchen and it takes so much less time in there and as well preparing.
I do enjoy the process of cooking and the true joy in wonderful whole fresh beautiful foods. Like I said, I have clean homemade or grown food envy LOL
The meals are simpler, quicker and healthier.
I am back enjoying and more relaxed with food and the choices I have. Simple ingredients .
I am hoping someday when I get to goal I will ease into a more freedom schedule. Tracking and rebuilding now is taking front and centered stage, as I struggle with the food yet.
But it is getting there.
Birgit your brain is healing along with your body and function is becoming automatic. This is by far a great accomplishment.

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LPRUNWALK 11/4/2013 10:56PM

    Hi Birgit,
This sounds like heaven!
I think I am experiencing a version of this without going low carb. I went out to lunch with my mom today, on the last day of her weekend visit from Boston, and was able to completely focus on our conversation while enjoying a big plate of heritage greens, grated carrot and cabbage, a few cherry tomatoes and about a half cup of chopped chicken, all lightly covered in a dressing of olive oil and lemon. It was simple and delicious, left my blood sugar nice and level, and allowed me to easily segue back to work. For me, the key seems to be eating a bit less of everything and staying completely away from refined sugar.
In the past, my mother and I would always have ended our meal by sharing some sort of decadent dessert, like a fudge brownie or a piece of cheesecake. There were so many times when we regretted this indulgence almost as soon as we were finished! Today, after four days in which we did yoga together and stuck to my new eating routine, we didn't even talk about having dessert..
It's such a pleasure to be more or less free of cravings!!

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WOUBBIE 11/4/2013 10:38PM

    Absolutely. I'm by no means perfectly compliant, but even so, I'm often surprised at how uninteresting food has gotten. It has lost much of its power over me.

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CINDYTW 11/4/2013 8:29PM

  I do. In 3 short days on low carb, I remember now what that is like, not to be ruled by the drops in blood sugar, and feel like you HAVE to eat and be hungry all the time. It's something I am quite enjoying!

I do still have to spend time cooking, tracking, counting and measuring right now because I am just starting back up. When it becomes routine I can let that go too!

Another pleasant side effect is that it has been much easier to give up my wine and hard cider than I thought it would be. I think I was craving those more from low blood sugar as well...

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The inside of my fridge - shows what I really eat

Monday, November 04, 2013

Or at least a big part of it.
It does not look as pretty as in magazines but you get the idea. I don't have things in my fridge that are a temptation.

The top shelf is mostly nuts, nut meals and a few gluten-free flours towards the very back that my husband sometimes uses. Also a small pitcher of heavy cream.
small drawer: cheese, sunflower seeds, sea vegetables
middle shelf:
raw milk jars on the right, jar with tomato sauce, butter, bowl with chicken stock, whey jars on the left
bottom shelf:
more nuts, squash cooked and wrapped in aluminum foil, ready to be stuffed for dinner, homemade yogurt, several containers of duck eggs
vegetable drawers: cabbage from our garden, onion

door from top left to bottom right:
bulk spices (garlic and turmeric), seed packets, fish oil, yogurt starter, elderberry syrup (for flu), more fish oil tablets, organic lemonade for flavoring water, condiments, 1 bottle of gluten-free beer,

The rest of our food is either stored in the basement (veggies like squash, zucchini) or in our cabinets. Things that only some of us can eat are stored either in the back of the cabinets or in another room (study) or in a separate fridge (we got a mini-fridge for the rec room).
Most meat and veggies are in the freezer.
This system works great to keep unhealthy stuff out of sight and out of mind. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKATER787 11/4/2013 11:52PM

    Great. Nothing tells the whole eating story than a look inside the fridge! Bravo.
P.S. I hope to clean out my fridge of old coconuts then I can organize and do some showing.

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BARCLE 11/4/2013 9:35PM

    Looks really good emoticon emoticon

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LOUIE-LILY 11/4/2013 9:24PM

    That's awesome!

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EXOTEC 11/4/2013 8:42PM


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WOUBBIE 11/4/2013 6:52PM

    OM NOM NOM!!! Looks good!

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HOUNDLOVER1 11/4/2013 4:14PM

    The milk is not from our own farm but from a small, local raw-milk dairy. Some day I would love to have a milk cow or goat, for now I don't have pasture and time for milking.

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MADEIT3 11/4/2013 3:16PM


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ERIN1957 11/4/2013 3:10PM

    I have food envy LOL
All that which you have from your own farm and hands.

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FITCOFFEEMOM357 11/4/2013 2:52PM


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Day 10 of ultra-low carb and a little treat (with picture)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Today was a great day, even though the weather was bad which usually affects me a little. Exercise was almost non-existent, just a mini-walk for each of the dogs, less than 30 minutes total.
My husband was so kind to do the morning chores today so I got to think about my plans for the next few weeks, talk to family and have a leisurely breakfast and lunch.

9 am breakfast: 1 cup decaf with 1/4 cup cream, 3/4 cup full-fat yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 oz. nuts

2pm lunch: 1/2 squash filled with ground beef and topped with melted cheese

5:30pm special treat in honor of being on this plan for 10 days:
almond pancakes with dark chocolate sauce and another cup of decaf with lots of cream

The recipe is very simple. Mix almond or other nut flour (ground nuts) with 2 large eggs and enough cream to make a thick batter. Drop the batter in a frying pan with melted butter. Turn when brown on one side. Makes 6 small pancakes.
For the chocolate topping mix 1 oz.(30grams) of 85% dark chocolate in a small bowl and warm until the chocolate melts with 1 teaspoon Xylitol. This is the amount I used for 3 pancakes. Sorry, you'll have to figure out the carb count yourself.

I am full enough to where I won't need anything for dinner.
I've been wondering how many calories I consume on an average day. I know it does not matter on low-carb but sometimes I'm curious, I'm just too lazy to bother. The first couple of days on low-carb I usually eat more, then my appetite settles down and I may be eating less.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-HEALTHYAMY 11/4/2013 6:00PM

    Those pancakes look and sound delicious!

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ERIN1957 11/4/2013 6:03AM

    Looks yummy Birgit! You earned it!

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SEEINGCLEARLY53 11/3/2013 11:34PM

    emoticon looks yummy!....Stay strong!

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DIDMIS 11/3/2013 11:07PM

    I went on a low carb diet once but now try to ear fruit and veggies and drink lots of water

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HOUNDLOVER1 11/3/2013 11:02PM

thanks for asking. I do take some vitamins and minerals, mostly the ones I can't get enough from any diet, namely Vitamin D and magnesium, occasionally some Iodine. I used to think that it takes a lot of veggies to get enough vitamins but when your animal products come from pasture-fed sources as mine mostly do then veggies become a lot less important. Still, usually I try to get more green veggies in than I have the last few days. There are phytonutrients that I should probably not miss out on.

Comment edited on: 11/3/2013 11:05:10 PM

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MJREIMERS 11/3/2013 10:56PM

    The pancakes look so yummy! Chocolate sauce...oh double yummy! emoticon

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LINDIEMAE 11/3/2013 10:56PM

    Pancakes look fabulous - are you taking any vitamins to make up for any nutrition that you might not be getting? Unless you track its hard to know. Just curious eh emoticon

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NASFKAB 11/3/2013 10:53PM

  interesting menu

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Day 9 of ultra-low carb

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Today was a very unusual day for me. Both my husband and my daughter were out of town for a swim meet. This gave me time to do some things I don't usually have much time to do, including cleaning up my desk and cleaning the livingroom thoroughly (or whatever passes as thoroughly in a household with 8 dogs who live on the furniture, LOL.
In any case, I did enough moving around, vacuuming and dusting that I'm going to count it as a 90 minute workout. My reward will be some quiet reading with ME on the couch rather than the dogs (or maybe it will be me AND the dogs.

Eating was simpler because I only had to worry about myself.

9am breakfast: decaf with 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup berries, 2 oz. nuts

3pm lunch: baked squash with ground beef and melted cheese on top
2 tbsp. almond butter

5 pm snack: decaf with 1/4 cup heavy cream

9pm dinner: scrambled eggs with whatever frozen green veggies I can find in the freezer
1/2 cup full-fat yogurt, 1/3 cup berries, 1 oz. pecans
1 1/2 oz. Lily's coconut low-carb chocolate

I'm proud of my 16-year-old daughter. She was part of two relay teams at the highschool district swim meet that beat a record for their highschool that nobody had touched for over 10 years. She also placed 3rd in 200 Free with a time of 2:08 and 5th in 500 Free with a time of 5:44 at the district meet. She has met requirements for the State meet in two weeks. Maybe she will even be able to get a swim scholarship after highschool.
I am especially proud of her because she has managed to keep her carbs relatively low doing all this, in spite of her teammates carb-loading around her. It is so good to know that she will not have to deal with all the horrible health problems that I had to deal with as a result of my carb addiction.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRANDMABABA 11/3/2013 5:49PM

    Good jobs everyone!

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RUSSELL_40 11/3/2013 10:08AM

    Lunch sounds pretty good. I always laugh when people try to stereotype the food selection on a low carb diet, or label it restrictive. There are plenty of fats and protein, and while we may cut out certain carbs, we probably eat a greater selection, especially in the vegetable category.

Your daughter sounds like she is pretty good, and she does it while eating low carb, which defies the low carb is low energy crowd. By starting now, she won't have to correct damage done, and probably won't have the need to go as low as people who start low carb to correct a disease. This will let her focus on healthy carbs, without being so worried about how many.

A scholarship would be a huge help too..lol.

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NASFKAB 11/3/2013 9:53AM

  congratulations to your daughter

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ERIN1957 11/3/2013 7:25AM

    Me too, I am so very proud of my daughter and her choices of food. I am as well so pleased that she too is on her way to a healthy life. Differently, but still healthy. You have the right to be proud and let's pray she does get that scholarship.
I have three little doggies I share my little life with. They are family to us and we love them so much. Our old man daddy dog passed two years ago on Christmas day, he was 16. His mate is now 15 and their LD daughter is 12. Together the ladies barely weigh 5 pounds. Small little Yorkie mix. We have my father's Boston and he is 4, got him 3.5 years ago when dad went into the nursing home. He is a hand full, but we still love him.
Many people cringe as they can not see how we travel with them. It works because we make it work. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Congrats again on your daughter and your diet plan...it is truly Ultra emoticon

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WOUBBIE 11/2/2013 10:58PM

    Hope you had a lovely day! Congratulations to your daughter all the way around!

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Recipe for crustless pan-pizza

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Our family really enjoyed our crustless pan-pizza last night. So I thought I'd share the recipe, as much as there is a recipe.
But I will start by saying that for anyone who answers this post by saying that this does not taste like REAL pizza. You are right, there is something missing. If you like something solid under the toppings to hold on to because you don't want to eat your pizza with knife and fork you can just get a piece of greasy cardboard and stick it underneath. It emulates the taste and texture of pizza dough quite nicely and will probably be healthier for you as well. emoticon

Now to the recipe:
I make this in a frying pan with a metal handle that can go in the oven but you could use a casserole dish/pan that can go on the stove and oven, too.
You can choose really any veggies you like for the base. In my picture from yesterday the veggies were hidden under the ground beef and the cheese, but they were a significant part of the meal.
I fried up the ground beef first in coconutoil with onions, and seasoned to taste (sea salt, garlic, herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, etc.). Once that is nicely browned I set it aside and stir-fry some low-carb veggies (green leafies are my favorite, but cauliflower, cabbages, green beans etc. will work fine) until wilted or about 5 minutes. When they are done I treat them as the "crust" and top them with tomato sauce (not too much to keep carbs low), browned, seasoned meat, any other toppings you like (mushrooms, sausage, pepperoni, other veggies, hard-boiled eggs, fish ...) and then top with mozzarella cheese or other cheese that melts well. I love pepper jack. Now that the pizza is ready I put it in the oven at 350 degrees F until the cheese is melted. If yo want some crunch on the edges I recommend adding some ground nuts around the edge after baking.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAMARIEZ1 11/4/2013 3:47AM

    fantastic ideas! thank you!

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TWEETYKC00 11/3/2013 10:18AM

    Sounds really good!

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LOSER05 11/3/2013 9:51AM


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WOUBBIE 11/2/2013 6:29PM

    Cardboard! So true!!

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KAPELAKIN 11/2/2013 5:51PM

    Thanks, I'll be making this just as soon as I have a working oven again. I'm thinking the cauliflower crust idea could work well too if it was done in a hot cast iron skillet. Maybe brown the beef, then put in the cauliflower mixture, let it bake a bit before adding the toppings. Would still need to be eaten with a fork, but doesn't any deep-dish?

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NASFKAB 11/2/2013 1:46PM

  thanks a lot Birgit

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LINDIEMAE 11/2/2013 1:37PM

    sounds yummy but I would reverse the ground beef, and use the veggies as the topping and ground beef mixed with ground flax seed as the base ... good going !! AND I loved the cardboard box message haha emoticon

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GOOZLEBEAR 11/2/2013 1:27PM

    Thanks, sounds yummy!!!!!

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ERIN1957 11/2/2013 12:54PM

    Sounds good to me!
I can't even remember when the last time we had a traditional pizza crust. It has been awhile. I have made different kinds and this sounds like it could be one of my favorites as well. I love cauliflower cheese crust and as well just greens as a base. Pepper Jack, very interesting will have to try that.
Thanks for the recipe Birgit!

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