7 Easy Ways to Cut Carbs to Lose Weight

Cut carbs to lose weight

On our last post, we spoke about how doctors sometimes save the best eating advice until after our bodies have gone downhill and medical intervention is already underway.   Why don’t we hear before-the-fact that too many carbs in our diets can cause weight gain and a wide array of medical problems to boot!

The good news is that if you are reading this, you must either 1.  already have a good idea of the benefits of a low carb diet or 2.  are now getting word of that and want to learn how to lose weight with a low carb diet.

Whether you already eat low carb to lose weight or are just learning how to eat a low carb diet, these seven easy ways to cut your carbs will give you a good start to losing that flab you need to lose so you can get your body back into proper working order again.

Cut carbs to lose weight

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Seven easy ways to cut carbs to lose weight

1.  Toss most processed foods away.

Processed foods are not worth it!  They may seem to make life easier at the time, but how much easier would it be having a lot less weight on your body?

Many processed foods have additional hidden wheat flour as an ingredient, and that flour can increase your hunger! (And yes, wheat can be added to the most unsuspecting of food items!)  Food manufacturers may like adding wheat.  You feel like eating more, and they get more sales!  However, you feel like eating more, and you get fat.

Unless you need the occasional convenience of an Atkins or other low carb quickie, steer clear of processed foods as much as possible.   You’ll have a lower wheat intake, lower carbohydrate intake, and thus probably lesser food intake, and that makes for better weigh-ins in the morning.

2.  Keep a recipe log or notebook of low carb recipes from blogs and websites.

I am going to suggest something different here than you might expect.  I am recommending that you NOT buy one particular low carb recipe book or follow one specific low carb diet.  I would recommend you look at your diet as a healthy diet where you are limiting your carb intake and making good, healthy food choices.

So MANY eating plans and diets today rotate around a lower carbohydrate consumption!  It will be easy to get lots of good recipes to keep and look forward to!

Look for low carb recipes for sure.  However, recipes for the Paleo diet are great too since many of them are low in carb count.  Find recipes that have  ingredients that are low on the glycemic index.  Foods low on the GI Index are pretty low in carb count and do not raise your glucose levels.   Also look at All Recipes dot com and Spark People… etc… and find the reader-submitted recipes that would work well for you.  Look at Southbeach diet books.  The Wheat Belly book by Dr. William Davis also has some great wheat free recipes that will help you keep your body functioning well to lose those extra pounds.

Pinterest is awesome!  It’s so good, I’m giving it it’s own paragraph here!

You will find that once you open up your life to a whole world of wonderful, healthy recipes, you will feel emboldened about losing weight and excited about living a healthy lifestyle!

3.  Plan simple meals.
It is much easier to focus on just a couple of healthy dishes than it is to focus on a huge, complex meal!

A good trick for a nice dinner is to prepare a nice, simple meat entree, one that is not breaded on the outside and does not have flour, oatmeal, or bread pieces  in the recipe, and then to add a really nice salad or a nice side dish of vegetables.

End there, or add some fresh fruit as a dessert if you wish, have fruit as your side if you had some good veggies at lunch, or throw some fruit on your salad!

You don’t need a lot of different dishes at the dinner table.  The trick is to have whole foods that will better fill you up and make you feel satisfied the first time around.

4.  Pretend you are a vegetarian sometimes.

While including enough protein is the way to quench extra hunger pangs, it is fun to discover ways vegetarians eat and are satisfied.  It also helps keep us grounded, remembering that there are other healthy things to eat other than eating a lot of meat and salads  for quick weight loss.

While not all vegetarian recipes will have ingredients that are low on the glycemic index or that are listed as good food choices for a low carb diet, finding good vegetarian recipes that have good carbs and many healthy benefits can add interest to our diets and expand our healthy recipe box greatly.  It’s also just a great diversion on some days.

When incorporating a vegetarian or vegan meal into your diet, make sure you do not include (or severely limit) white potatoes and pasta, limit any your of corn, beans, peas, and sweet potatoes, and just do not include recipes that have white rice, white bread, egg noodles, and flour.

Oh, and be prepared for a “hungry” day the next day if you did add something that is higher on the Glycemic Index or that had more carbohydrates than you are used to eating.

As in any diet, when you go off, count it a chance to show discipline and determination by going right back to your desired eating habits the very next day!

5.  Learn how to make low carb desserts, breads, and muffins.

Pinterest, baby!

However, any other recipe source will work too.

Just know there are plenty of recipes out there to keep your bread box filled and your sweet tooth satisfied.

By the way, I love the flax seed muffins I made in a mug, in one minute, in our microwave at home.  I am satisfied all morning and kind of feel like I just cheated, even though I didn’t!

The recipes are there.  Find them!

6.  Improve your beverage intake
Make the change from sodas and sweet teas to water, flavored water, and unsweetened tea.   (Green tea rocks!)

I LOVE MiO Liquid Enhancer!  Four or five squirts into a bottle or glass of water, and I’ve got a sweet drink with no calories, no carbs, and no artificial sweetener even!

Some homemade ice tea with the right Stevia (a sweet herb) can be very yummy too.  However, finding the Stevia product that you enjoy tasting may take a little time.  I discovered Trader Joe’s in my area carries a really nice Stevia product that is not bitter at all.  Also adding a flavored herbal tea bag or two in place a couple of regular or green tea bags can make even an unsweetened tea taste a little sweeter!

Of course plain water is a really good beverage choice and helps you save money eating out too!  I like that part!

7.  Have healthy, low carb snacks on hand.

Make low carb baked cheese crisps or crispy pepperoni chips, and use them when you are really hungry for potato chips.   Have some hard boiled eggs on hand in your refrigerator for a filling afternoon snack.  Store strawberries in baggies in your fridge for a mid-morning pick-me-up or bag some homemade low carb peanut butter cookies in your freezer for a Friday night board game party.

Keep some protein powder in the pantry and almond milk close by for a yummy protein shake that will satisfy almost any hunger craving any time of the day.

Some of us have scheduled snacks as a part of our daily lives.  Some of us just go crazy for something extra to eat for whatever reason at some weird time.  Whatever your snacking need is, it’s best to be prepared with good choices that allow us to continue weight loss instead of just going completely off track!

These seven ways to cut carbs are not a full induction into a low carb lifestyle, but they are steps you can take to begin your weight loss journey and to begin your path to a newer, better feeling you!

Finding your low carb eating style can be a very rewarding experience if done correctly!  Just remember, your main goal is to be healthy so you can enjoy living life again!

Watch the carbs.

Be healthy doing it.

Live life again.

You can do it!

 

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.  – 1 Corinthians 6:12  (ESV)

Healthy Eating Leads to Healthy Living

Healthy Eating Leads to Healthy Living
Healthy Eating Leads to Healthy Living

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have always been amazed how our society works when it comes to healthy eating and healthy living.   The old food pyramid, used for decades now (as we subsequently grew by pound upon pound as a society), listed carbohydrates as the foundational principle of a healthy diet.  Eat the bread!  Eat the cereal!  Eat the pasta AND the rice!

So America hunkered down on the carbohydrates, all of them, and lots of them, and gained weight, sometimes… many times… becoming obese.

Alongside all that weight gain, the world became a place with more diabetes,  higher cholesterol, more physical disabilities caused by arthritis, and cancer.

I’m pretty sure all that carb loading on a normal person with a normal lifestyle caused some sluggishness that in turn created even more weight gain, more health problems, and a lesser quality of life.

I mentioned above that I have always been amazed.  What has really amazed me has been the medical response to living a healthy lifestyle.  Did you notice my wording there?  I said the medical RESPONSE.  The medical field responds.  (That is kind of after the fact, if I wasn’t clear there.)

So many times, I see people gain weight and struggle with life, and then when they go to their doctor, the advice is to lose weight.  The doctor generally doesn’t care HOW, so long as it is not a completely crazy weight loss.  Generally, anything will do if weight is lost in any reasonable way at all, and sometimes even unreasonable ways are considered when there are real problems that need quicker results.  Usually though, they don’t care.  It’s up to you to figure it out.

Well sometimes some doctors do care, especially if they like or promote a particular diet such as a low fat diet or a South Beach Diet or a calorie restricting diet, a wheat free diet, Weight Watchers, or maybe even gastric bypass surgery.  Usually though, it’s your game to play at that point.

“Just lose weight”, they usually say, and to their credit at least, many will tell you to find whatever works for you personally.  Doctors usually understand not everyone responses well to one certain kind of diet plan alone.  Bodies are different.  Motivations are different.  Weight needs and desires are different.  So are people and their likes (and dislikes).

But then watch what most doctors do when the weight is not lost and obesity comes into play, along with a concern the weight is causing a possible health concerns or Prediabetes.  What do they tell their now-obese patients?

They say “Eat foods on that are low on the GI Index” (which more or less equates to lower carb intake).

They say “Stop eating the breads… and the cereal… and the rice AND sometimes the pasta”.

They say “Watch your carbs.  Limit your carb intake.  Eat healthy carbs.”

And they say “Forget that stupid food pyramid”.

“Eat healthy!”, they say.

So this is what has perplexed me about our society.  If eating healthy means watching our carb intake, eating foods that do not raise our insulin levels, and eating the right carbs when we are unhealthy, then why isn’t it just as important to watch our carb intake, maintain our insulin levels, and eat the right carbs before we get diabetic to begin with?

Now I am not necessarily advocating a strictly low carb diet, an Atkins diet, a Ketogenic diet, or even a Paleo diet here for all.  As I have already said, people are different.  People have different needs, and people respond differently.  What is more, people will have their likes and dislikes and may stick with one and not something else.

I AM advocating, however, that those who are gaining weight or have gained weight and want to have a better life consider the kind of diet that works for those who are having life problems already by being overweight.  I am advocating you consider the diet doctors give to those who are obese and exhibiting problems, the diet the doctors THEN seen to deem as healthy.  I am advocating the kind of diet medical professionals will  describe, after the fact, as a healthy diet to have a better life.

Basically, I am advocating a lower carb intake that keeps insulin levels in check (does not raise insulin levels which in turn throws off hormones and consequently, in turn, causes weight gain, illnesses, hormonal imbalances, Pre-Diabeties .. and inflammation too by the way).

I am also advocating people who want to lose weight and begin their journey to a better life ahead read up on the advice doctors give their patients AFTER they have become ill, sick, disabled, or diabetic, and that they follow those healthy eating patterns instead of waiting to get worse and then being told about those healthy eating patterns.

It just never made sense to me to have a pyramid of supposedly healthy food choices which has made society fat and then to give overweight, sick people a completely different set of food choices which are supposedly healthy food choices to regain their health after the fact.

Just why don’t we all eat the right way from the beginning?  Limit those carbs just a little bit.  Eat foods lower on the Glycemic Index.  Furthermore, eat to consciously to maintain our insulin levels to keep our entire system in line as god intended it to be.

All in all, let’s find and follow those healthy eating patterns to keep those extra pounds off (or take them off) to being with – before we hear the dreaded words we really don’t want to hear from our doctor!

Changing to that healing diet before we get sick may just save a lot of grief in the long run.

Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.  – Proverbs 17:1 

Foodstuffs To Avoid When Wearing Braces

Foods you can eat when wearing braces

Foods you can eat when wearing bracesIf you’re dreading having braces because you think it means that you’ll be subjected to a liquid diet for the next few months, you will probably be delighted to learn that having orthodontic treatment doesn’t mean that you have to give up your favourite foods. There are some foods that are best avoided as it’s important to improve confidence with braces, without bits of food trapped, but for the main your diet will probably remain very similar.

Foods to avoid

There is no hard and fast rule that you can’t eat certain things when you have braces and nobody is going to lock you up if you eat a ‘forbidden’ food, but your orthodontists will probably give you a list of things to try and steer clear of because they carry a risk of breaking or damaging your brace or getting trapped in your brace. Here are some foods that may cause you problems if you have braces:

* nuts and seeds

* raw carrots and apples

* chewy sweets, bubblegum and chewing gum

* corn on the cob

* crusty bread and bagels

* meat on the bone, such as chicken wings and drumsticks

* hard boiled sweets

Sometimes, there are ways around giving up certain foods; for example, if you love apples and you don’t want to give them up for 12 months while you have braces, cut them up into small pieces, rather than biting into them as a whole fruit, as this will make them much more manageable. The same is true for pears, peaches and nectarines.

Sugary foods are a particularly bad idea if you have braces, as you have a higher risk of developing gum disease and dental decay because it is more difficult to clean your teeth when you have braces. Sugary foods erode the protective tooth enamel because they cause bacteria to release plaque acids.

As well as the foods you eat, the fluids you drink can also impact your health and even if you eat a healthy diet, if you wash your dinner down every night with fizzy pop, this is going to cause trouble for your teeth and gums. Avoid sugary and acidic drinks, which have very little nutritional benefit and are laden with sugar and opt for sugar-free cordial and juice, water or milk.

Foods which are good for oral health

You hear all about the foods that you can’t eat if you want strong, shiny pearly whites, but what about foods that are good for your teeth?

Calcium is very important for good oral health because it helps to build strong, healthy teeth and bones; without calcium, the bones and teeth are weaker and here is a higher risk of decay and injury. Good sources of calcium include milk, yoghurt and cheese.

Vitamin C is also important for good oral health because it helps to boost the immune system and facilitates healing; good sources of vitamin C include berries, citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables.

By: Richard Buckley

A Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe That’s Easy and Elegant

Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe

I let some of my friends know earlier today that I was going to try a Paleo chocolate cake recipe today with the promise that I would let them all know how it turned out.

I have to say I think I just found a healthy chocolate cake recipe that is out of this world!

Even if you’re not on a Paleo diet, Paleo recipes use ingredients that can turn comfort foods into super healthy foods your entire family will enjoy.

This healthy chocolate cake recipe is no exception.

While your kids (and spouse) enjoy a wonderful homemade chocolate cake, you have used ingredients that are natural and helpful to building their bodies.  The use of coconut flour in the ingredients here is a plus for those who steer clear of grain and wheat based food products that tend to raise blood sugar levels and thus weight.  The raw honey adds a few carbs but also adds tons of health benefits without raising the carb count too much or adding a huge insulin strain for diabetics or those struggling with potential diabetic conditions.

The fact that it is a gluten free chocolate cake recipe at such a modest cost to make means we have found a real gem here for all sorts of folks to eat and enjoy!

If that wasn’t enough, these cakes were quite easy to make, and they almost looked like they were from a gourmet bakery!  Perhaps you would come closer to being able to claim your chef’s hat with this one than I did; I never did have many skills as an “artist”, but I think what I ended up with was absolutely gorgeous.  I surprised myself!

Many thanks to the website http://www.anaussiewithcrohns.com/ for always posting so many healthy recipes that so many families can incorporate into their healthy lifestyle!

So here’s the just of my experiment today. I started with this Paleo chocolate cupcakes recipe from An Aussie With Crohns website, which is a great recipe for chocolate cake in and of itself by the way, and with a few tweaks to use what I had here at hand today, I made my very own gorgeous, individual, healthy gourmet cake treats as seen here:

 

Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe

I’m so proud of the healthy gourmet cakes I made here!

 

It’s easy and fun to make this healthy chocolate cake recipe from scratch!

Here’s the recipe I used:

 

Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe That’s Paleo Friendly and Gluten Free…

(And Pretty Too)

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw honey  (For a low carb chocolate cake, you can use 1/4 cup raw honey with 1/3 tsp. liquid Stevia or 1/4 cup honey, more or less, with enough unsweetened applesauce to measure 1/2 cup in total)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (NOTE:  Cacao powder has some additional nutrients that cocoa powder does not have, so if you have that, by all means use it.  If not, cocoa powder is fine to use.  However, read the label to make sure your manufacturer did not add any wheat or other ingredients to the product if you are on a wheat free and gluten free diet.  Most cocoa powders are natural without added ingredients.  Just verify.)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (NOTE:  the original recipe called for cacoa butter, melted in microwave, but since I didn’t have that here, I substituted coconut oil, a very healthy oil with tons of health benefits, and I had a very moist homemade cake when all was said and done.)

 Ingredients for the topping:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (NOTE:  The original recipe called for a can of coconut cream, chilled in the fridge overnight, but I I had some regular heavy whipping cream around, so I used that, and it was fine.  For those who don’t care for the extra fat in the heavy whipping cream, remember you are only using a dab on each individual cake… or just use the coconut cream which has lots of antioxidant properties and contains what most health gurus consider a very healthy fat for body functions.)
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey (Optional. I added it,)
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries or other berries, thawed and smashed just a little (The original recipe called for jam and even has a homemade Paleo jam recipe, but I was too hungry to make jam, so I just got my frozen raspberries out, thawed a few minutes, and smashed the pretty little things to make some juice!  You can add a pinch of honey, Stevia, or Swerve to sweeten the berries just a little, if needed.  I did not add any sweetener to my raspberries, and I was fine.)
  • A few chocolate chips for the top, if desired.  (For gluten free diets, use a gluten free brand like Enjoy Life.  For a low carb diet, just shave a little chocolate off a dark, unsweetened, chocolate baking bar. The higher the cacao, the lower the carb count.   As far as looks, mini chips and shaved chocolate may look a little more elegant than the larger chocolate chips I used.)
Ghirardelli60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips
60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips

 

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 12 muffin pans with coconut oil.
  3. Beat eggs and honey with electric beaters.
  4. Add coconut flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Add coconut oil (or melted cacao butter), and mix; then beat on medium to high speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Spoon mixture into 12 greased muffin pans.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until cakes have risen and tops of cakes spring back when touched.  A dry toothpick, after insertion, generally indicates a finely baked product as well.
  9. Cool in pans around five minutes or so, then circle the cakes with a knife to loosen, and remove gently.
  10. While the cakes are cooling, beat the whipped cream with an electric mixer until creamy and a stiff top forms.  If you are going to add a little raw honey to the whipped cream, begin to add it slowly as you are nearing that later stage of beating.)
  11. When the cakes are completely cool, pipe or spoon the whipped cream on top of the cakes.
  12. Drizzle with berries (I think the juice is the pretty part here) or top with a tiny bit of jam.
  13. If you like, place a very few, strategically-placed chocolate chips or chocolate shavings on top to assure your creations look like a professional chef created these gems!

For an easy, healthy lunch box dessert or afternoon snack on the run, just omit the whipped cream and toppings, and pack the cakes as is without all the frills on top!

I hope you try this recipe for chocolate cake with honey for health and coconut flour for safe, low carb, wheat free baking!  Just as I am working on myself, by making these kinds of changes in your family’s life, you’ll be on your way to a healthier body, a better life outlook, and a better life story to share with others!

 

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  1 Corinthians 9:27  (ESV)

 

Need any items for this cake?  Check out the Amazon links below!  I have listed some of the things you might like to have in your pantry shelf for this or other healthy cake recipes.  These are products I can recommend to you.  However, you’ll also be able to see some comparable products you might personally like even more!   

Raw Honey: Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey – 22 oz

Liquid Stevia: NOW Foods Better Stevia Original Liquid Extract, 8 Ounce Bottle

Coconut Flour: Viva Labs Organic Coconut Flour: Non-GMO, and Gluten-Free, 4 lb Bag

Organic Raw Cacao Powder: Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Powder, 16-oz. Pouches (Packof 2)

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (A large size because it’s so healthy you need to put this on EVERYTHING!!!!): Nature’s Way Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, 32-Ounce

Most Suited Food for Children This Winter

Healthy Food for Children

Most suited food for children this winter

A guest post by Michelle Ryan.

When winter starts setting, children start to suffer from all kinds of health problems. Well it’s not their fault. Their immune system is not as well built and healthy like us grown-ups. Many kids across the globe suffer from various ailments such as flues, dry skin, wheezing and cough, frostbites, viral fevers and many more during the winter season. Such health problems in children during winter can be prevented by the right kind of diet. There are certain » Read more

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