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A Little Over a Year, How My Diet has Changed

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Never give up. Never surrender." - Galaxy Quest
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success." - Thomas Edison

Back in May 2011, I made the switch to a lower carb diet. Here's how my progress has worked out.

For 10 years I was overweight. In 2000, I was obese at 160lbs. In 2005, I lost 30 pounds, but was still overweight with 32% bodyfat.

The reason for it eluded me. It wasn't for lack of exercise. I was plenty active with bike riding, hiking, inline skating, kayaking and swimming. I eliminated fast food, sugary drinks, and junk food. I followed all the dietary advice of balancing carbs, fat and protein, and stayed within my calorie ranges.

But the most I could manage was yo-yo. Up-down, up-down went my weight.

I was an athlete, but I didn't look much different than a moderate couch potato. Why didn't I look like the other people who were just as active as me?

It was exceedingly frustrating to be at 32% bodyfat. 'Normal' bodyfat range is about 28%. I was almost there. I could see it, visualize it. And yet it remained just outside my grasp.

When I started researching paleo type diets, it seemed to fit. I experimented with various forms of it, and have eventually settled on what works for me.

Here's how I lose weight:

- About 60-80g carbs per day when losing weight.
- I eat a grain or starch with one meal only per day, usually dinner.
- Protein and vegetables. Forget about the Atkin stereotypes. The only meal where I don't eat vegetables is breakfast. And that's because a salad at breakfast seems weird!
- Breakfast: Typically one egg prepared either poached or omelet, and a piece of fruit like a watermelon, raspberries, or blueberries. This week it is plain yogurt and a cup of coffee.
- Snacks: Hard boiled egg, or a small bowl of cottage cheese.
- Lunch: A large salad with tuna or chicken salad, and a bowl of veggie soup. It's basically replacing lettuce for the bread portion in a sandwich. Last week I made a white bean veggie soup. This week I'm making a butternut squash soup.
- Dinner: Steak, chicken, pork or fish, small serving of rice or potatoes, steamed veggies, and a side salad.
- Dessert is homemade, and I make small serving petit four type desserts. Last week was banana bread. This week is shortbread cookies. But of course this is a treat, and I can skip it entirely.
- I drink beer and wine in the week, and a Friday happy hour cocktail. I'm very picky about my cocktails. It must be real juice, and no adult kool-aid mixes.
- Exercise 3-4x per week at 30 minutes with a longer excursion on the weekends. Biking, kayaking, hiking, etc.

Here's how I gain weight:
- Eating fast food or standard American restaurants.
- Not eating meals at home.
- Eating more than 120g carbs per day.
- No exercise.

Exercise and nutrition are important. As I've learned over the years, exercise does not cancel a bad diet, or even a decent one but composed of the wrong things.

I do have to exercise in order to lose/maintain weight. However, 30 minutes 3-4 times per week is all that is required. I don't need to spend hours at the gym, nor does it need to be vigorous. I keep my heart rate at about 60-70% of max. Quite moderate.

In July 2003, this was me:



This was me last month, May 2012:



For years, I thought I was always going to be fat, no matter what I did. The answer that I needed was always within my grasp. I just had to look a little further to find it. For me, the golden key was not my calorie total, but my macronutrient balance. My calorie total is actually about the same, but distributed differently.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EATNBOOGERS 6/20/2012 9:14AM

    I'm glad you've figured out your road to success.


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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/20/2012 8:52AM

    Awesome that you found something that works so well for you.
emoticon

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VHALKYRIE 6/20/2012 8:16AM

    SMILES650: Good luck finding what works for you! You never know...!

BEARCLAW6: I've been following your journey, and you've been a big source of inspiration for me! Your success is picture perfect!
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WOUBBIE: Yes, indeed, although I had to learn it the long way since I used to think this way myself. "Oh no, I had that cookie, I better get to the gym." It became a source of punishment, which is a shame. Not healthy at all.

NEILITHICMAN: WOW! Congratulations! 20 kilos is incredible! It's always exciting to hear from others whom have similar experiences! emoticon

MKPRINCESS007: I'm glad this inspired you. :) You already know this, but if you are on any medications, particularly for blood pressure, you should talk to your doctor before making any dietary changes. Low carb, in particular, can change the balance with the change in insulin levels. Good luck!

GETSTRONGRRR: See my comment on your spark page wall. :)

Comment edited on: 6/20/2012 8:42:06 AM

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GETSTRONGRRR 6/19/2012 11:24PM

    Great blog and a great program! I like how you've been able to calibrate your carbs for losing, maintaining, gaining, etc.

So I'm trying this out right now, keeping carbs as low as I can (below 30 gms). So far I've been at it for 3 days.

No weight loss yet, but it is easier to eat like this then I expected.....much more to follow....for now, I am taking a leap of faith based on books I've read and experiences like yours

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MKPRINCESS007 6/19/2012 10:09PM

    Thank you SO MUCH for describing in detail what has been successful for you. I feel, as you did many years ago, that I NEVER really will lose weight, I can honestly say that I haven't ever really researched or tried a paleo diet. You have given me "food for thought" :) and I think that if I want to be serious, especially at my age and taking medication that contributes to the challenge of me losing weight, I need to think outside the box. Thanks so much!

Karen

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NEILITHICMAN 6/19/2012 5:37PM

    Well done on your weight loss. I was eating was too many carbs too. I cut down on fat and sugar but I had a love affair with bread that saw me stay heavy. Now I've been allowing myself only 2 slices a day and eating more fruit, vegetables, beans, eggs, fish and chicken and I've managed to drop 20 kilos (44 pounds) in the last 3 and a half months

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WOUBBIE 6/19/2012 5:27PM

    Great insight! I wish more people understood that "exercise does not cancel a bad diet".

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BEARCLAW6 6/19/2012 12:56PM

    Right on, sister! Isn't it nice to have it finally make sense?

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SMILES650 6/19/2012 11:21AM

  Good for you! Thanks for sharing this wonderful information......I think this might just be what I need to try, emoticon

By the way, you look amazing! emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/19/2012 11:22:02 AM

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Rediscovering the Joy of Food

Monday, June 18, 2012

You know the old saying. Food is the way to a man's heart. While originating in a very different era, perhaps a modern interpretation would be "Food is the way to a lover's heart" because it goes both ways. I love that my husband likes to cook, too.

When I moved to Seattle financially broke and obese, I had to do a lot of cleaning house mentally and physically. My life had just fallen apart, and I needed to rebuild myself.

One of the things I determined to do to get my life under control was learn to cook. Even though I didn't have a lot of money, I bought myself a nice set of cookware. I learned to cook from watching Food Network and the internet. Being unpracticed, I made a lot of mistakes and a few bad dishes. But I got better over time.

By the time I met my future husband, I was comfortable in a kitchen. He is a pretty good cook. Even though he nearly set his oven on fire the first time he cooked for me. He was making a prosciutto wrapped chicken breast. We got to talking, and I guess he left it under the broiler just a little too long. The stove started smoking, there was a small flame, and he opened up all the windows and doors to air out his apartment. The funny thing is, it turned out just fine. The prosciutto was a little bit crispy like crisp bacon. It was delicious. If I hadn't seen the frantic window opening, I would have thought he'd intended to flambe it. I couldn't stop laughing.

Living in Seattle, we had access to some of the best world class food, so we dined out regularly. But we also enjoyed making meals at home for each other.

I sometimes wonder if our love would have blossomed the same without the experience of sharing good food.

My health has improved leaps and bounds after learning to make my meals. While I still eat low carb, what breads and desserts I do eat comes from my own kitchen for the most part. The result is I've been able to maintain my weight far easier than I ever thought possible. I don't know if it's because my body manages the whole ingredients better, or if it's more satisfying so I eat less. Maybe a combination of both.

The only time I gain weight is when I eat meals at fast food and poor quality restaurants. Since I've learned to cook at home, my palate has refined to the point where I can taste the individual spices and flavors. In fast food, I can taste predominately three things: poor quality vegetable oil, salt, and sugar. I was dismayed when I recently learned that Chik-fil-a uses MSG in their 'secret' seasoning.

My German-American 1930's depression era grandmother made the most incredible pecan pie I can remember. She would make the pie from pecans in her backyard. Sadly, her recipe died with her. I didn't have an interest in cooking at the time she was alive to ask her for the recipe, and I was too young to recall it from memory. Her children were all boys who weren't going to do 'women's work' cooking. Her grandchildren abandoned recipes and stoves in favor of packaged cartons of microwaved meals. The pecan pie is gone forever, along with who knows how many other recipes made with real ingredients.

It's a shame that I learned the lesson too late to save it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NYMERIAV 6/21/2012 2:46AM

    I empathize with you about your grandmother's pie; I truly do. Yesterday was the anniversary of my grandmother's passing, and my family couldn't stop talking about the amazing dishes she used to make. We realized that NO ONE had ever gotten her cinnamon roll recipe! This was something she made for every single get together, birthday breakfasts, or just to say she was thinking of you. When my first real boyfriend dumped me, we ate cinnamon rolls and trashed men. The morning of my wedding, she made a batch- just for ME.

It kills me that I'll never have them again.

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KAYOTIC 6/20/2012 10:55AM

    Wonderful way to eat better, learning to cook....and now you have me thinking about pecan pie!

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CTTAGENT 6/19/2012 12:15AM

    That is wonderful to be able to share the enjoyment of cooking together. Too many times over-portioned blah tasting foods are replacing the flavorfulness of a home cooked meal. My hubby grilled some steaks this weekend, half were a new recipe, and the other half was the salt, garlic, onion... and the very basic one just tasted soooo good.
My husband burnt himself the first time he was making dinner for me... I took him to the ER, and then we had dinner out.

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VHALKYRIE 6/18/2012 2:03PM

    I hope you're right, Karen! But it will be a long time if I ever figure out...I don't want to make too many pies!! LOL

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/18/2012 1:39PM

    Oh, you'll know it. Taste bud memory never goes away. When I went to Italy several years ago, I ate the most wonderful gelato. Every town or city I visited, I hit the local gelato shop.

Well, when I got back home, I figured I'd be able to find good gelato in the North End. That's an area of Boston famous for it's Italian restaurants and bakeries. Thought I could find a good gelato there. It was good, BUT it was not the same as the stuff I had in Italy. Tried different places. yummy, but not quite the same yummy sensation I had in Italy.

Fast forward a few years. I'm in Las Vegas for work. On my free time, I walk around the different hotels and end up in the Venetian. In the center of the Venetian is a recreation of St Marks Square. There was a gelato stand. So, I ordered a spumoni. that's a gelato with three different flavors. Took a taste. OMG, that was it !! THAT was the taste sensation I had when I was in Italy !!! If I didn't know better I'd swear the guy who made my gelato in Rome was the guy who made it at the Venetian hotel in Vegas.

So, yes, when you find the right recipe, you will remember. Bells are going to go off. Read my blog on my trip to Amsterdam. I had a similar taste sensation from my youth while there.





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VHALKYRIE 6/18/2012 1:14PM

    I could look up recipes, but the thing is, even if she used a recipe from a cookbook, I'll never really know if it is the same one she used. It was so long ago since I had it, I couldn't remember why it was so good. I just remember it tasted of pecans and was caramel-like. Sweet and nutty. Pecan pies that I try in restaurants are sickeningly sweet, and I don't like them. I don't remember hers being like that at all. So I could try different recipes from the era, maybe find one that I like, but...I'll never really know.

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RONOSOF 6/18/2012 11:05AM

    Excellent idea from Archimedes!
I admire your dedication to cooking and the shared time in the kitchen. Both are goals I have and struggle with. Thanks for a heartwarming and educational post!

Mary in Boston

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KISHYMARIE 6/18/2012 11:03AM

    I second what Archimedes said... the women in my family put together a family heirloom cookbook, and at the time my grandma was still alive. A LOT of her recipes that we thought were top-secret, only-she-can-do-it recipes were actually from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from the time. Try it - it can't hurt! And yes, that's true about the crust and Crisco...!! LOL!

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SMILINGTREE 6/18/2012 10:05AM

    There are so many recipes I make regularly, attempting to make them like my granny did. Some (cornbread! and biscuits!) I can do, but others (fried squash) I'm way off. I love that it's a sort of lifetime challenge - I'll keep on trying forever.

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NAYPOOIE 6/18/2012 9:58AM

    Yeah, grandmas and their knowledge go too soon. Or we get wise too late. Either way it's a loss for us all.

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/18/2012 9:56AM

    Oh, I can't tell you how many old recipes my family lost for the same reasons.

Luckily, we have saved many of my mother's favorite recipes. Oddly enough, many of the recipes she cooked came from popular cook books. So, one thing you might do is find out what cook books were popular during the 1920s-30s. I'll bet you find that recipe for pecan pie. And I'll bet the reason it tasted so good was because she used lard in the crust. When I was growing up, my mom had a TUB of Crisco in the frig. Gotta say, lard did make the best cookies and pies.

I know how to make the sauce (some Italians call it gravy), my grandmother used to make. That's because I learned the recipe from my aunt who cooked it the same way she did. That's one of a handful of traditional recipes that were passed down to me that I still know how to make.

hmm... I'm beginning to think I outta write down some of these recipes.



emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/18/2012 9:56:46 AM

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Confession of a Near Hoarder

Friday, June 15, 2012

One of the most frustrating things about tackling big projects is knowing where to start. Everyone knows how to spot the big picture end goal. Lose 50lbs. Earn xxx in sales this quarter. Remodel the kitchen.

But where to start can seem overwhelming, and the temptation is to kick the can and 'start tomorrow'.

One of my big projects at the moment is reducing the clutter in my apartment. I've never been a terribly neat person. My room as a kid was always cluttered with clothes on the floor. My desk rarely had room for me to do my homework on.

Shows about hoarders scare me. While my home is nowhere near as bad as these horror stories, sometimes when they talk about why they do it, I hear eerily familiar echoes.

I saw a show recently where a woman hoarded food. She had 7 refrigerators filled with rotting food. This isn't something that I do, but when she showed a mountain high pile of empty food containers, I gulped. She said she saved these food containers because they could be useful for storing things, but she never used them.

This was a little too close to home. I've saved empty plastic containers and jars thinking I could use them to store leftovers, and be thrifty. But the reality is they just take up space in my cabinets.

I went and threw them all out.

Because I like to cook, my kitchen is the cleanest place in the house. I wipe down my counters after every meal. I am actually a bit OCD about the cleanliness of my kitchen. My drawers are organized in ways so I can get to things quickly. Since I've decided to work more on food blogging, this has been more important.

But other areas of my apartment are more cluttered. I know that I should tidy them up, but it seems overwhelming, and I kick the can. It's such a big task, and it's not especially clear cut. "I want a clean, neat house." What exactly does that mean?

My clothes drawers are full of clothes that I don't wear, but I cling to and don't want to throw or donate away. Many of them are still in good condition. Some I bought and have never worn. I'm loathe to give them away because I feel like I've wasted my money.

And yet they sit there, just taking up space. That's not very utilitarian value.

There are a lot of things in my house that aren't used, but I cling to and don't want to give away. My husband has been very patient all these years, gently trying to get me to let them go, and yet any time he mentions it, I panic. What if I need them later?

But I never need them later.

And then I watch the hoarding shows where the people talk about panicking when they think of throwing something away. It's a little more familiar and recognition then I'd like to admit.

So just like in various other aspects of my life when I needed to make change, I've decided to just do it. No excuses, just get it done. Even if I don't want to or don't feel like it, just do it anyway. I'm not a little kid, I'm an adult, and I need to do it. Whether I 'want' to is irrelevant. It 'has' to get done, so do it.

I've been doing a little at a time. Straightening up just a drawer or two a day. Folding, organizing, and throwing things into bags to take to the charity shop.

Here's what my bedroom looked like before. Only the cat enjoys the clutter. She mocks me by sleeping on my clutter instead of her cat bed.



After it is done, it wasn't so bad. And it didn't take that long either to sort things for laundry or charity. In moments where I thought to myself, "I should keep this, just in case...", I tossed it in the charity bag. If I thought that, then I probably didn't need it. The truth is, after the space was clean and I could vacuum, I felt better. A tidy space lifts the mood.

In the end, only the cat is unhappy with the declutter. But she still won't sleep in the cat bed. She preferred the clothes pile.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLJEAN64 6/16/2012 11:11PM

    I was having a conversation similar to your thoughts with my DD today. There are things I think I can't get rid of because of sentimental attachments. Her brilliant suggestion: You don't have to get rid of everything. Choose 1 or 2 items and get rid of the rest. I think if I do a room a month... and then 2 months in basement... rest for 4 months and start again, I bet in three years I would be soooooooo happy with my house.

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CATLADY52 6/16/2012 9:13PM

    What you described as 'hoarding' fits me pretty well. I keep thinking that 'someday' I'll sort through all the half finished or even half started projects and get rid of the things. Whether it means actually getting them to the charity or consignment shop is no matter. Just make the trip.

You sound pretty well grounded so I think you'll make the changes. Good luck. emoticon

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KAYOTIC 6/16/2012 12:45PM

    Nice job on the clean-up! I have a weekly "decluttering" personal goal, which I really need to get more serious about, while I'm practically fanatical about cleaning the kitchen, the rest of the house could use some attention too....

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IMREITE 6/16/2012 3:02AM

    The hoarding shows scare me too. i watch about 5 minutes and then have to go clean stuff. anything. wither it is cleaning or just organizing.

i have a few things i bought and have not used, but i did take some "repair projects" that were not done and created a timeline to do them. and if i don't do them in that time, throw them out. there was not use keeping ripped, damaged clothes/fabric if i did not fix them.
it gets easy to accumulate stuff over time.

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VHALKYRIE 6/15/2012 10:31PM

    WOOBIE: All good advice, and good to keep in mind!

The letting go of things even though someone you loved gave it to you...wow. I dunno. That sounds like black belt decluttering. It makes sense, but I'm not sure I'm ready yet. **gulp**

LADYROSE: Thank you for that piece of advice about if you hold on to things you don't want, then they can't be treasures for someone else. That really clicked for me. Things that are sitting around being useless junk could have a purpose in someone else's home.

Comment edited on: 6/15/2012 10:33:49 PM

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WOUBBIE 6/15/2012 10:13PM

    Good for you! As a long-time Flybaby I frequently use her idea of "If I don't need it or love it why do I still have it?"

Another good one is that if an item has a sad association to it, you don't HAVE to keep it just because it belonged to someone you love.

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KICK-SS 6/15/2012 9:42PM

    Put some of your clothes that you don't wear in/on your cat's bed and the cat will probably then get accustomed to sleeping there. Maybe...

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DDOORN 6/15/2012 9:31PM

    Great challenge to tackle...ALWAYS WAY too much clutter 'round these quarters...! Good for you!

Don

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/15/2012 4:13PM

    I LURVE buying my clothes in thrift stores. One of the reasons is that they were so cheap I don't mind if I have to get rid of them because they became too big or wore out. :-)

As for your cat, well, yeah. Clothes piles that smell like YOU are always preferable to cat beds, in my experience (4 cats so far - not all at once - I'm not a cat hoarder, LOL). My recommendation is to use her cat bed as the place you put clothes before they end up in the laundry basket. Or else make the laundry basket accessible as a cat bed. :-)

I am not very neat either. I usually end up doing a clean sweep 2-3 times a year. And it's getting to be time for one again. I will NOT be posting photos of my house on here anytime soon. Ain't brave enough for that!

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LADYROSE 6/15/2012 4:00PM

    Oh I can so relate to all this - being rasied by a clutter bug and am working on reforming myself one piece at a time.

I had a similar moment as you did that really was the whack in the head I needed about 'hoarding'... because you don't have to have a house filled with stuff to be a hoarder. It's holding on to things that may be useful to others. One of the big lessons I learned from FlyLady is that if you keep it hidden/locked away, it can't be a blessing to others. That alone has prompted me to get rid of some of those 'just in case' items. Granted I still have a lot of those to release from my house and life, but think that I'll do some of that this weekend. Thank you!!

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Easy Banana Bread

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I don't do a lot of baking. Mostly because I dread the cleanup. I don't have a lot of kitchen space, so I don't have a kitchen mixer. I have a small handheld mixer for those occasions when I need it. Most baking recipes conjures up images of a million mixing bowls, measuring cups, and awkward to clean mixing spoons.

The baking that enjoy most involves just a mixing bowl, a kitchen scale, and a spoon. Easy to make, easy to clean.

Since I've been unemployed, I've been looking to update my cooking blog. I am also looking to keep my programming skills sharp developing an iPhone app with a cooking focus that I hope to release before the end of summer. I've been experimenting with a few recipes.

I've developed two versions of low maintenance banana bread. Easy recipes to whip out when there are overripe bananas that need tending. One is a regular banana bread, another is a gluten-sugar free/low carb version. I make them in a mini 3x6 loaf pan so there isn't hoards of leftovers. I seriously don't understand baking recipes that have 24 servings. Great for potlucks or family reunions, but not so great for everyday life - or diets. Moderation is hard enough without mountains of cake around! In my household, we'd end up with a lot of food waste. I've adapted my recipes so my husband and I can enjoy a small serving with breakfast or a light dessert after dinner for a couple of days.





The Spark recipes are here for adding to your food tracker:
Banana Bread: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2142310&ff=1

Gluten-Sugar Free Banana Bread: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=2142319


If you look at the nutritional comparisons, there isn't a lot of difference calorie-wise between them. It is the distribution of carb/fat/protein. There is also a slight difference in taste/texture. The regular version is muffin-like. The gluten-free version has a cornbread texture, and a slight tropical cake taste from the addition of coconut flour.

Step by step photos are on my blog: shortcutmenus.com/2012/06/easy-banan
a-bread/


Hope you enjoy!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARCHIMEDESII 6/15/2012 10:06AM

    That's certainly a yummy way to keep busy while you look for work ! I'm sure your app will be a success. I'm always looking for good APPS !



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KAYOTIC 6/15/2012 10:04AM

    they look yummy, and I like that they don't make giant batches! Thanks, and good luck with your app!

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VHALKYRIE 6/14/2012 6:11PM

    LOL I'm sorry...should I put a warning disclaimer at the top? I did include a sugar free version!

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NEILITHICMAN 6/14/2012 4:53PM

    My mouth is watering just looking at the picture, that is really mean of you, now I'm hungry.

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CARL-ASCHLUGE 6/14/2012 1:42PM

    Thanks for the info!

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Only If It's Worth It

Thursday, May 31, 2012

You all know that I am a traveler. I love going to different places and exploring this little planet we call Earth. It is truly a special place, and I love going to new places, meeting their people, and eating their food.

Especially eating their food.

When I went to Paris, I ate food. Lots of food. I bought one little hat at a street market, and that was it for my shopping experience.

It's food and seeing the sites that I enjoy when I travel. I'm not a shopper. I rarely buy souvenirs. Where would I put it? It usually just adds to clutter. I have a tendency towards hording, so it's just better to avoid souvenirs.

Having the joys of eating abroad, I have to say I've come to dislike American restaurants. I blame Applebee's and Chili's oversized portions for my obesity.

In Spain and France, the plate sizes were small relatively. I could just hear in my head my dad complaining about the tiny steaks. And yet they left me overall more satisfied and well nourished.

Once a regular occurrence, I can't stand to eat at Applebee's anymore. The food is over processed, over salted, and over sugared. The apple pie is so sickeningly sweet, all I taste is sugar lightly flavored with apple.

In France, I had a wonderful apple tarte that was a little sweet, and a little tart. It was divine. I could taste the apples. The delicate flakey pastry complimented the apples with a slight buttery-ness. The Applebee's pie lacks the nuances or the complexities. The over saturated sweetness ruins the dessert.

Back in 2000, I weighed 160lbs and wore size 12 pants. On my 5'0" frame, that put me solidly in the obese category. Those were my high flying days of Applebee's burgers and apple pie.

Today, I weigh about 128 (post vacation weight), and wear a size 6. Almost a size 4 before I went on vacation.

After struggling with my weight for over 10 years, I finally discovered it's wasn't bad genes that was keeping me overweight. It was what I was eating. Which was completely baffling because I followed the dietary guidelines of 60/15/25 carbs/fat/protein.

This was simply a formula to keep me fat. If this worked for you, great. But it did not work for me.

These days, I follow a few simple rules, and I can eat relatively intuitive. Without carb counters, calorie counters or anything else.

1) 80-100 grams protein per day. (Protein with every meal)
2) No more than 60 grams carbs per day. (90% veggies)
3) No calories from drinks. (Low, low sugar consumption)

That's it. Believe me, 60g carbs is plenty. I can enjoy a piece of toast with breakfast, a cup of rice at dinner, or a dessert, but not all together. When I eat mostly vegetables for carbs, I have plenty reserved for something else I like.

Most everyone is familiar with a saying from Kate Moss: "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."

It's going to sound shocking, but I kind of understand this now.

Wait, wait. Hear me out.

When taken as an anorexic manifesto, this statement is beyond awful. It's too easy to take the wrong way, especially when you're a young teenage female.

I eat between 1400-2000 calories per day, depending on my activity level. There is so starvation diet here. So this statement means something different for me.

It means, if I eat something, it had better be worth it.

I will never hesitate to enjoy an authentic French tarte with a cup of coffee. However, I will never again touch an Applebee's apple pie.

It doesn't taste as nice as a pair of size 4-6 pants feels.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VHALKYRIE 6/14/2012 3:59PM

    I'm not actually sure what my macronutrient ratios work out these days, though I try and shoot for yours. My body doesn't handle grains or starches very well either...at least in terms of it's a guaranteed weight gainer - lol. Could be that you are chowing down more. I am 5'0", but the only meal where I don't eat a veggie is breakfast. I usually eat a big salad for lunch and dinner along with my protein portion, about a head of romaine lettuce (my favorite) per day. I'll top other veggies on top of it, and make a steamed veggie portion with dinner. So that's 1 serving of veggie at lunch, and 2-3 servings at dinner.

You have me curious, though, and I may start tracking for a few days just to see how things are going.

Eating this way staves off the binges for me, too. Even when I make baked treats, I'm never tempted to scoff down the whole thing. Which makes me feel superhuman - lol.

Comment edited on: 6/14/2012 4:10:07 PM

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/14/2012 3:32PM

    Wow. I must be chowing down on a lot of veggies, compared with you - I aim for at least 40g of fiber per day (to help my target 150g of protein move through the GI tract, LOL).

I tend to eat around 1700-1900 calories per day, so that might account for some of it. I'm simply eating moar. :-)

Om Nom Nom.

emoticon emoticon

P.S. I eat no starch or grains - I don't handle them well. All my fiber comes from flax seeds, nuts, fruits, or veggies, stuff like that. My macro ratios lately (including fiber) generally break down to about 30% fat, 40% carbs, 30% protein.

It's so very interesting to compare how other people fuel themselves and what works for them.

I'm in general agreement with you on the need for lots of protein and limited starch and sugar. It keeps me full, which helps stave off binges, which are my main problem. And my body just seems to run better on a diet like that, anyway.

Comment edited on: 6/14/2012 3:44:55 PM

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VHALKYRIE 6/14/2012 2:36PM

    I am going by total carb count, which includes fiber. I just eat one serving of starch or grain per day, which gets me well below 100g carbs per day. I can only get above 100g carbs, if I eat starch or grains.

Comment edited on: 6/14/2012 2:36:59 PM

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/14/2012 2:26PM

    How are you counting your carb grams? Are you ignoring the ones that come from fiber?

Just wondering, because I eat no added sugar and limit fruits and certain dairy and other sources of natural sugars. And even with that on a good day (under 100g of sugar) I've still usually got at least 100g of carbs, most of it from fiber.

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CAROLJEAN64 6/2/2012 2:39PM

    I agree with you. Recently I ate at Applebee's and chose something that was touted as healthy. When I checked, it had more than a day's suggested amount of sodium. I wrote to Applebee's and complained!

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CTTAGENT 6/1/2012 11:20AM

    Since I have not traveled outside of the US, I cannot compare US food to that, but I can compare it to homemade food. Even homemade tastes better than most dining out alternatives. My husband and I find that when it comes to vacation time, our preference for a hotel is somewhere that we can do cooking, and I bring salt, onion powder and garlic powder for us to use for seasoning, and it works out fine. I very much agree about "only if it's worth it."

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BTVMADS 6/1/2012 8:19AM

    It's SO true. Store-bought cakes and cookies are so cloyingly sweet, I can't stand them. I tried a Mystery Flavored Skittle that a camper offered me and I spat it out (they thought this was hilarious). I'd much rather have a homemade shortbread cookie with just a scant measure of sugar, or some fresh strawberries with whipped vanilla cream cheese. I want to taste my food, not corn syrup!

But that said... I'm pretty sure that my homemade low-carb dark chocolate souffle tastes as good as skinny feels. It's ridiculous how delicious it is. emoticon

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FITGIRL15 5/31/2012 4:49PM

    Yep, I definitely know the value of everything I eat these days! I don't bother put something in that I won't love every bite of! That is the key... learning to love the foods that offer you the most bang for their buck!

And that veggie trick... it's simply amamzing! Eat MORE veggies, you'll lose more weight! It could be a diet all in itself! LOL

We've had a very similar size journey! I am now around 130-135 and am happier about my body then I ever have been in my life!!! emoticon

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