My Easy Healthy Lunch Finds From the Health Food Stores

Kombucha

OK folk.  Here’s my story about Kombucha.

Well, my story didn’t start out about that drink.  It didn’t really end there either.  It was a part of the story of my day where I went on a mission to find an easy healthy lunch while I was out with my husband one day.

Well… OK… that healthy lunch was not my primary mission that day either.  It was a part of the story of my day. 

Oh, all right then.  I hear ‘ya.  Let’s just get started on my story, shall we? 

If you think back a few days, I posted a really neat low carb bread recipe here a few days ago.  I wanted to follow that story up with where to find low carb bread in the stores.  Of course, I could probably have figured that out with just my own memory and a few strokes of my genius keyboard research skills. 

I wanted the excitement of going to a bunch of health food stores though.  You know the kind of places I’m referring to! 

I went to Sprouts Farmer’s Market.  I went to Whole Foods Market.  I went to a new organic grocery store I had never seen before and stumbled upon, a place called Market Street.  I went to our local, upscale health food store near me, Central Market.  I went to the Sunflower Shoppe.  I went to Wal-Mart.

Oh, hold on there.  I never went to Wal-Mart that day! 

I did go to the other healthy grocery stores though, checking out all the different kinds of low carb breads they may or may not have had. 

I might have felt I was (ever so indirectly) right on track with my blog research when I looked across the store and eyed the display of sweet, seedless watermelon at Sprouts on sale for just $1.99 each. 

See… here is what caught my eye. 

Watermelon on sale at Sprouts

I called my daughter Amy and said “I’ve got our dessert for tonight!”

And one of those little guys went right into my shopping cart. 

Even with that good buy for our family dinner, I didn’t forget to look at all the healthy breads that I could find at Sprouts.   Indeed, I took tons of pictures there.  I even purchased some of the breads there:  some sprouted whole wheat bread, some low carb tortillas, and some jalapeno bread. 

So what if the Sprouts Jalapeno Cheddar Bread was not specifically labeled a low carb item.  I inspected the label.  Its carb count was fairly low, actually much lower than many regular loaves of sandwich bread.  It had no preservatives or artificial flavors.  Hey, it had real jalapeno peppers actually in it too.   It seemed like a pretty healthy bread to me! 

So…  I didn’t feel too badly throwing that Sprouts Jalapeno Cheddar Bread in my cart. 

Here’s a picture of my personal indulgence:

Jalapeno Bread from Sprouts Farmer's Market

I wonder if the store clerks could see I was drooling when I was taking photos of this bread?

 

Hey, it might not have been the perfect purchase by everyone’s standards, but at least I checked the label before I purchased it to make sure I could live with it! 

Sprouts Jalapeno Bread Label

12 carbs per slice. OK, I’ll just practice my “discipline skills” with this, I told myself.

 

Plus that bread had to be spicy.  What more could a person in Texas want? 

OK now… Let’s finish off the Sprouts part of my story with a great buy on some organic black raspberries, shall we?  That would be a good, healthy food choice.  Besides, they looked so, so good!

I was then off to Whole Foods where I found myself taking selfies in front of the cute scarecrow they had positioned by the front door.  I got sooooo soooo caught up in that.  In fact, a store worker came by and asked if I would like him to take a picture of me.  I pointed to the little billboard which Whole Foods had put up that said “Take a selfie with the scarecrow.” 

“Oh no thank you,” I said pointing to the little billboard sign.  “The sign says take a selfie, and that’s what I’m doing.”

But hey, thank you anyway, sweet Whole Foods worker. 

I didn’t seem to have as much luck with healthy bread finds in that Whole Foods Store as I did in Sprouts, but I did randomly find some really cool low glycemic snacks called Beanitos.  (Side note:  Oh, I have discovered I LIKE those things!) 

I also noticed some Oolong tea bags.  I’ve been reading about those.  Got some of those too to try out. 

Now done with Whole Foods, I was on my way back to that Market Street store I saw along the way to Whole Foods. 

As far as low carb breads, I saw even fewer at Market Street than at Whole Foods.  However,  I did find the deli there quite appealing.  Boar’s Head Roast Beef.  OK, no fillers.  Not real high in fat, and not high in sodium. 

“Could you please SHAVE some of that for me please?” I asked (even though it is not really shaving that I like, but I don’t know how else to explain exactly how the Giant Supermarket on the east coast used to cut my deli meats.  The stores here in Texas just don’t understand it when I say “You know, really, really thin like I used to get”.   I am so thinking of you right now, Giant Food! 

With Boar’s Head deli meat in hand, I’m thinking about how to create a great sandwich with it.  Then it struck me.  Boar’s Roast Beef and Sprouts Jalapeno Cheese Bread. 

Yep.

Barbecue sauce?  Why indeed yes!

I knew just where to go.

When I got to the aisle, Market Street had been kind enough to put some Walden Farms BBQ sauce right there.  Zero calories.  Zero carbs.  Now THAT would make up a little for the couple extra carbs that jalapeno cheese bread had.  See, I was already practicing my discipline skills!  At least I was thinking things over!

OK, I had some healthy bread.  I had some roast beef with no additives or preservatives.  I had a zero calorie / zero carb BBQ sauce.  Those things all together would make for a pretty good sandwich. 

Speaking of which, I suddenly realized then, my time was running out.  I needed to get this part of my shopping… ah….  I mean this part of my “research”, completed and go pick my husband up from his classes so he could get to his teaching job.

I was late!  It was also well into the afternoon, long past lunch time for most people! 

Panic set in.

I needed to get something for my husband and I to eat on our way from my picking him up from his school classes to his driving to where he teaches private music lessons.

Well, it was in the blink of an eye that I realized the Lord had placed just about everything I needed into my hands anyway. 

I already had the items necessary to make some healthy sandwiches.

I had organic black raspberries.  Healthy.  Really healthy.

I had Beanitos chips.  At least the label said they were healthy, and boy were they good. 

And I had…  NO!  I did NOT have a drink. 

By this time, I was really starting to run short of time and really starting to panic. 

“Oh well,”, I thought.  Maybe I’ll go through the McDonalds drive through close to my husband’s school and get us each a dollar diet soda. 

Oh gosh.  Did I just admit that to you all?  I did just admit that.  

So I’m not perfect, especially when time is tight. 

THEN…

On my way to the check out, I saw a bunch of pretty little glass bottles that said “Kombucha” on them. 

Those bottles just seemed to jump out at me saying, “Look here!  We are healthy, healthy, healthy drinks!”

Kombucha

Looks kind of cute, doesn’t it?

 

Well, their labels said “raw”, and raw foods have always intrigued me; and they said they were probiotics.  Hey, you gotta admit,  Jamie Lee Curtis looked pretty good in her Activia commercials a while back. 

So I grabbed a couple. 

I was set for a good healthy lunch from the healthy food stores I had visited that day. 

Everything was going well until my husband took a drink of his Kombucha.  He almost spit it out! 

“Is this…  beer?”  he asked. 

I started to laugh, thinking he was just joking.  However, when I didn’t see him laughing, I took a drink of my Kombucha drink. 

My response was to quickly get on my cell phone and look up “what is kombucha”! 

Sure enough, I discovered Kombucha is a beverage made by fermenting tea with yeast and bacteria.

“Well, it SAYS it is good for you, so I think it is OK to drink!” 

“I don’t THINK it is alcoholic”, I added. 

“At least I don’t THINK so”.  (I had to add that second disclaimer, just because.)

“Still not sure about this”, I remember my husband saying, but he drank it anyway and then told his first music student not to come very close to him because he wasn’t sure if he had just drunk something that was good for him or something he should not have drunk! 

I took the rest of my… what was that?… oh yea, “fermented tea”  home and gave it to my son-in-law.  For a gift, you know. 

He knew all about fermented tea!  He has a friend who makes it himself.  In fact, he told me he had several friends that made it at home. 

“You don’t have to BUY it,” my daughter added.   

“What is this new big deal in life?” I wondered. 

Apparently this Kombucha thing is really big these days. 

Is it healthy?  Yes, apparently.

Is it good?  Depends.  🙂 

That Kombucha Tea made that lunch something special though; I can tell you that! 

Overall, while my day of research at the organic food stores ended up being a story about the time I put some extra things into my cart; had a quick and easy healthy lunch and created some sweet and funny memories with my husband while doing so; and discovered these new, fermented foods for the very first time,  I felt I had a good day that day. 

I did get the information I set out to get.

I also learned some lessons about eating healthy.  Maybe I’ll share those lessons with you sometime, if you would like. 

All in all though, we got through the day; we had a good lunch while traveling in the car, and I learned what fermented Kombucha tea is. 

I also discovered I really don’t take very good selfies in front of scarecrows.   I need to lose some more weight before I try that one again.

Hey, I’m learning. 

And though thy beginning was small, Yet thy latter end would greatly increase.  Job 8: 7 (ASV)

Easy Low Carb Bread Recipe for Low Carb Diet Plans

Low Carb Bread

Making sandwiches for lunch, enjoying toast for breakfast, and serving bread with butter at dinner are all still possible even when you are watching your carbohydrate intake.  

It really is possible to make low carb bread!  

The trick to making good low carb bread is to find and use low carb bread recipes that will satisfy your desire for bread while using ingredients that are low on the glycemic index which our bodies handle well and lower in refined carbohydrates which our bodies do not handle very well overall.  

Almond flour is used in many of these bread recipes as is coconut flour and flax seed meal.   

Some with huge weight loss goals have enjoyed bread recipes with lots of eggs, cream cheese, a little salt and some cream of tartar.   

Some gluten free bread recipes use gluten free flour.  

Grain free bread recipes can even sometimes include whey powder, peanut butter, stevia, a tad bit of honey or Xylitol, or lots and lots of mozzarella cheese (yum on that last thing, lol).  

Our recipe for bread here even has almond butter.  Pretty cool, huh?

There are plenty of low carb bread recipes out there, and many of them are very tasty.  

You just need to find the ones you enjoy the most… and have fun while trying all the different recipes out there to try!  Well, you know…  sometimes the journey can be just as much fun (if not more) than the destination!  

Here’s a low carb recipe book I recommend which you can get from Amazon:  1,001 Low-Carb Recipes: Hundreds of Delicious Recipes from Dinner to Dessert That Let You Live Your Low-Carb Lifestyle and Never Look Back  (Amazon Affiliate Link) 

If you have not found your favorite low carb bread recipe yet or just beginning eating low carb and don’t know where to start, here is an easy low carb bread recipe to try.  As I mentioned above, the ingredients are easy to get.  What’s more, the directions are easy to follow.  

It’s an easy recipe for easy weight loss and health!  

Low Carb Bread

Yes, you can have low carb bread on a low carb diet!
___
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Basic Gluten Free Low Carb Recipe for Bread
Serves 16
A quick and easy recipe for those who want bread while watching carbs
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83 calories
5 g
47 g
6 g
4 g
1 g
27 g
146 g
4 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
27g
Servings
16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 83
Calories from Fat 47
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 47mg
16%
Sodium 146mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 5g
2%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 4g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
10%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup vanilla whey powder protein
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 cup natural unsweetened almond butter
  5. 4 extra large eggs
  6. 1 Tablespoon raw, organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the protein whey powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl, beat almond butter with a mixer on high until fluffy,
  4. Add beaten eggs and apple cider vinegar to the almond butter, and stir well to combine.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the almond butter mixture and beat well again.
  6. Then pour the full mixture into a 9 x 5 inch bread loaf pan.
  7. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
  8. Remove, and allow to cool before removing from the pan and cutting into slices.
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calories
83
fat
6g
protein
4g
carbs
5g
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THE NEW AMERICAN HOME http://padoozles.com/

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 

Hot Tamale Sausage Casserole – Wheat Free and Low Carb

Sausage Casserole

HOT TAMALE SAUSAGE CASSEROLE

THAT’S A HOT SPINACH AND SAUSAGE CASSEROLE RECIPE!

Sausage Casserole

This may not be one of the prettiest looking casseroles around, but I’ve got to give credit to Linda’s Low Carb recipe website for this amazing, low carb and wheat free spicy sausage casserole.

This one is one hot tamale of a dish! » Read more

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