Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Atkins Diet: How should spouses / partners support weight loss activities?

Update on sweet-free challenge

Just wanted to give y'all a quick update on the sweet-free challenge.

I normally never weigh myself more than once per week, but after the huge gain this week, I needed to see a bit of movement in order to stop myself from jumping off a bridge (ha!), so I hopped on the scale this morning and was happy to see that I'd already lost -4.5 lb. Of course, much of this is water weight. I'd stopped drinking water over the holidays, so was definitely retaining - my body thinking that a drought was occurring.

I'll weigh myself on Friday to see how things are progressing!

So far, so good!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Week #80: Up 9 lb for a total of -108 lb

Yes, you read that right. I gained 9 lb in one week... the week of Christmas.

Although I remained faithful to low-carb eating, I ate wayyyyy too much. This is a prime example of how you still have to be careful of the volume of what you take in even if you're being faithful to whatever regime you're following.

To put things mildly, I was shocked and disappointed when I got on the scale this morning. I knew I'd gained... but 9 lb???? I nearly cried like a little girl.

BUT... let's put things into perspective here. The routine is back after a highly non-routine holiday. I've rid the house of any low-carb Christmas goodies (like the delicious but deadly low-carb fudge that I gorged on). The freezer if full of good low-carb food ready to be "nuked" for meals. I'm on vacation until next Monday, so I'll make sure that I stock up even more. The water I'd ignored for over a week is back on the daily routine, too. I know part of the reason I gained so much is bloating.

I had decided to start the sweet-free challenge suggested by low-carb guru Jimmy Moore on January 1st, but after having gained 9 lb (OH MY GOD!!!!!! I still can't believe it) in one week, I started today. That means that for the next four weeks, I am not letting anything sweet touch my tongue. That means no Splenda, no other sweeteners (natural or artificial) or fruit.

Now, this may sound reasonably simple, but if you think about it, that means no treats whatsoever, such as sugar-free Popsicles, sugar-free Jell-O, diet soda, diet drinks (Nestea, etc.), etc. I've gone through Day One of the challenge with little trouble and plan on being 100% faithful until the end. That blasted 9 lb gain needs to get the heck out of town ASAP and I want to make sure that 2009 is the year that I put another huge chunk in my weight loss. After 1.5 years, it's time to bring this puppy home. We're in the final stretch.

Onward and downward, as a friend of mine said today!

If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses. Ever.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

To everyone out there who reads my blog, have a very Merry Christmas! Your support is truly appreciated.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Week #79: Stayed the same for a total of -117 lb


It's winter, so be careful when sticking your tongue out for those snowflakes! Hehe Not sure if what those birds have in mind is low-carb or not, but best not to find out, eh?

I stayed the same this week, so didn't get to the -120 lb mark, but that's OK. Christmas is so crazy I'm just as happy to stay the same until the holidays are over. The holidays are always a challenge because routines are thrown into chaos. My water consumption has really taken a hit, too. I'll have to work on that while I'm home on vacation for two weeks.

I still plan on going completely sweet-free on January 1, 2009, for the entire month. I want to see if that kickstarts the "major" weight loss again (at least -2 lb per week consistently). It's working miracles for others who are trying it. I hope it does for me, too! I can't wait to see how it goes, although I have to admit that the idea of zero sweet-tasting things is a bit daunting. That includes no diet pop, no fruit at all, nothing with even Splenda in it... Yikes!

Until then, the holidays are here and it's time to celebrate... but that doesn't mean going hog-wild. It means eating low-carb and having fun with friends and family. It seems a bit strange to celebrate the birth of Jesus by eating junk that is bad for you, doesn't it? Best to stay on the healthy side.

If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses! See you next week!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Week #78: Down -1 lb for total of -117 lb

Well, I didn't have the -2 lb loss that I'd hoped for, but I'll certainly accept the -1 lb very happily. After all, everything is moving in the right direction and I remain truly happy about that.

In January, I'm going to take on Jimmy Moore's sweet-free challenge and eliminate all sweeteners - natural and artificial - from my diet for 30 days. I will also forego fruit. Basically, I will not allow anything sweet-tasting to hit my taste buds. Jimmy's had very good success with the challenge and I'm sure this will speed up my own loss.

I will determine my results and see if they're worthwhile enough to continue. I do like a few raspberries now and then... and enjoy diet soda now and then, too... but that will have to be eliminated for 30 days. The theory is that at some point your brain can no longer tell the difference between real (i.e. sugar) and artificial/low-carb (i.e. sucralose) sweetener, so reacts similar to how it would were you eating the real thing.

From June to December 2007, I lost about 75 lb. in 2008, I've lost about 40. I realize that that loss would slow down, but it's a bit too slow... not that it's discouraging me. Still, I'd like to lose a bit faster.

I have 123 lb left to lose until I hit goal. That, my friends, will be a glorious day. I will put a big chunk in that goal during 2009!

Remember, if I can do it, so can you. I stuck with it. I am bound and determined to succeed. The alternative is not an option - repeat - not an option.

Eating low-carb is AWESOME!

No excuses!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Week #77: Stayed the same for a total of -116 lb

OK, so there are two more weigh-ins until Christmas Day and my early Christmas present to myself will be to get four pounds off by then... giving me a total of -120 lb and putting me at the half-way mark of my goal to lose 240 lb.

Christmas parties and family get-togethers abounded this past week. I'm never tempted, quite frankly, but it's still a challenge because you can definitely over-eat even on the good stuff!

For the next two weeks, I'm going to be a good boy and save the treats (low-carb treats, of course) for Christmas itself!

I will drink all my water, be very careful about my carbs, and watch my nut intake - which is really difficult at this time of the year. Why does the season for all those fresh, delicious nuts in the shell (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, etc.) fall right at Christmas? Well, hey... that's life, eh? Temptations are just that... temptations. And I'm stronger than any temptation out there. PERIOD!! Got it? Good!

And you know what, if you put your mind to it, you're stronger than any temptation out there, too!

No excuses! If I can do it, so can you!

Be good and we'll see you next week!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Week #76: Down 0.5 lb for a total of -116 lb

I had another good week at the scale, losing half a pound. I'm excited as I move ever closer to the half-way point of losing 240 lb. It's been a wonderful journey so far.

I'm greatly looking forward to the holiday season and trying out some new recipes. Don't ever think that you can't go low-carb at Christmas! You can! It's just a matter of deciding. I did very well last Christmas - gaining only 0.5 lb during the Christmas week. I made stuff that I could eat and brought it along with me wherever I could go! I didn't gain because I ate the wrong stuff - I just ate a bit too much of the good stuff, typical of any holiday season.

If, like me, you like your sweets, there are lots of low-carb dessert recipes out there. Start experimenting now so that you won't feel deprived over the holidays.

If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Week #75: Down 2 lb for a total of -115.5 lb


I had a great week this week and I hope that you did, too! I'm chugging along to the -120 lb mark, which is the half-way point of my journey... at least the initial weight loss portion of the journey. I want to lose 240 lb, although that may get adjusted a bit as I near my goal depending on how I feel/look, etc.

Water was still a problem this weekend. It's easy to stay on track during work days or routine days, but the weekends are when we usually throw routines out the door. Although it didn't seem to hurt me at the scale, drinking enough water is essential to weight loss. I usually drink 1.5 litres per day, minimum... and that's just water. I also drink many other things, such as sugar-free Nestea, my protein shake, etc.

Like I've said for a few weeks, I have some recipes to post. Hopefully I'll actually do it this week!

I hope you all have a great week!

If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses!!!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Week #74: Up 0.5 lb for a total of -113.5 lb

I was up a bit this week after a very non-routine seven days. Wasn't great on water at all, which didn't help. In fact, I really have to concentrate on drinking more water - especially on the weekends. As I'm sure you know, drinking enough water is very important if you're trying to lose weight.

I keep promising to post more recipes. I mean well, trust me! I'll keep promising and will get around to it eventually. I have some real nice ones.

Things are going very well. I'm really motivated and continue to be 100% committed. That will not change. This is the way I'm going to live the rest of my life and I feel great about it!

I hope that YOU are motivated, too. Keep up the great work, everyone! I'm proud of each and every one of you who are on low-carb and please KNOW that I'm in your corner.

If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Week #73: Down -2 lb for a total of -114 lb

Had a good week this week! I laid off the fried chicken and saw a nice 2 lb loss which I'm quite pleased with.

I'm going to be baking some new desserts this week. If they're any good, I'll post them online. Whenever I try something new that's really good, I'll definitely post it. Have tried a few new things lately but I didn't like them enough to post the recipe.

It's been a great week and this coming week will be even better.

I'm having a lot of fun low-carbing and experimenting with new recipes, especially ones that the non low-carbers love, too!

If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Week #72: Up 1 lb for a total of -112 lb

I think I got a bit cocky this week and thought I could eat more than I should of some "danger" foods for me, i.e. cream, nuts, etc. I have to be very careful of those because I can easily overindulge. Being so high in calories, they can easily sabotage a low-carb diet's main goal, which is to lose weight.

I'll be extra diligent this week and make sure I'm back in the "loss" column next week. Last week was a major routine-buster, with renovations going on at home, including a new heating system. No excuse, but it didn't help either. Plan ahead!!!

Until next week, I hope you all have a wonderful low-carb journey over the next seven days. As usual, I hope to put up more recipes. Let's hope I'm successful this time!

If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

BBC Story about low-carb dieting

Part 1:



Part 2:



Part 3:



Part 4:



Part 5:



The studies have been done to death. The low-fat diet is killing the health of an entire generation of people - both young and old.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Week #71: Down -3 lb for a total of -113 lb


Happy Monday to you all! Well, as you can see by the title of this posting, I had a fantastic week. I haven't had a "big loss" in weeks and weeks, so was thrilled to hop on the scale this morning to see that I'd lost 3 lb!!

What did I do different this week? Well, I took in more fibre, for one thing, by finally opening the package of Flax Z Snax Cinnamon and Spice Natural Hot Cereal that I'd ordered months ago from Low Carb Grocery. If you haven't tried it yet, this stuff is absolutely delicious. By adding a bit of sweetener, vanilla or maple extract, or even almond butter (which added some heartiness to it!), I ended up with a very filling and satisfying breakfast. I accompanied the cereal each morning with some hard-boiled eggs. It was a great combination that kept me more than full right up to lunch time!

I made some pumpkin pudding this week in the slow cooker but wasn't thrilled. I need to tweak it a tiny bit to make it to my liking and will post it. I made it with whipping cream and should have used whipping cream and almond milk instead of all cream. I also tried freezing it and it did NOT freeze well. Looks like it's one of those dishes best eaten until it's all gone! I also make some low-carb pumpkin bars last night with cream cheese frosting. They turned out very nicely and I will post the recipe this week for sure.

Until then, keep at 'er! Eat delicious sugar-free, low-carb food. Eat fresh food as much as possible. You will see the difference in no time.

And remember the low-carb mantra: Fat doesn't make you fat!!! Sugar makes you fat!!!

OH! I almost forgot. I mentioned several times that the -111 lb mark was a milestone for me. Now that I'm at -113 lb, obviously I've surpassed it. So what was it? Well, I'm thrilled and proud to say that I'm back in the 200s for the first time in at least 17 or 18 years. I started low-carbing at 410 lb (EEEEK!!!!) and am now at 297 lb (410 - 113 = 297). Turning "centuries" feels GREAT. I can't wait until I'm back in the 100s for the first time since the mid 1970s (literally).

If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses! No excuses! No excuses!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Read this...

Do yourself a favour and read this article from the October/November 2008 issue of Mother Earth News by Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories - Bad Calories.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Recipe: Low-carb pumpkin pie


I've made this delicious low-carb pumpkin pie a couple of times and you can't tell the difference between this and a pie made with sugar and evaporated milk.

First, there are two crust options (ground almonds OR pecan meal). I've made it with both. (I altered the recipe a tad from the original. The original pecan crust was a bit different, but I like a spicy crust, so preferred the crust from the About.com low-carb pumpkin cheesecake, so I substituted it for the pie. It would work with either almonds or pecans.)

CRUST OPTION #1 - GROUND ALMONDS:

- 1 1/2 cups ground almonds or pecan meal
- 0.5 tsp each of ginger and cinnamon
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 4 tbsp sugar substitute (or equivalent)

PIE FILLING:

- 1 15 oz can pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk (or milk or cream - milk has more carbs, so adjust - I used unsweetened almond milk, which I always have on hand for my energy shakes)
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar equivalent from artificial sweetener (I used Sweetzfree)
- 1 teaspoon dark molasses (optional - I used organic blackstrap molasses)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 scant tsp nutmeg (scant = not quite a tsp)
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- pinch of cloves (I used 1/8 tsp)
- 1/4 tsp salt

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 425F. (important)

2) Dump all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and whirl to blend.

3) Pour into the crust.

4) Put the pie in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 375F. In 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 300F. (This cooks the crust, so it isn't soggy, but then allows the custard to bake more slowly.) Bake until almost set in the middle, about 30 to 40 minutes more. If it starts to crack a bit around the edges, it's probably done.

5) Cool and serve. If you want to serve it with low-carb whipped cream, click here for a recipe.

CREDIT:

This delicious recipe is courtesy of Laura Dolson's excellent About.com low-carb site. Click here to take a look around. Don't forget to bookmark it! Click here for the original recipe.

(Click on the photo for a larger version. This is the exact pie I brought to my mother's for Thanksgiving. Non low-carbers thought it was delicious. They said they couldn't tell the difference.)

Week #70: Stayed the same for a total of -110 lb

I was on vacation last week and the lack of routine was not particularly conducive to weight loss, but I certainly didn't go off the wagon one bit. My only "sin" was pretty much completely ignoring my water intake. I'm back to work tomorrow and am glad to find the routine again. Back to the water I go!

Nothing much to report other than that this week. I'll be posting a recipe for low-carb pumpkin pie and low-carb pumpkin pudding this week. It's been a crazy few weeks and I hope to post more often now that life is returning to normal after a crazy-busy September and first part of October.

I'm feeling happy and healthy. Going low-carb PERMANENTLY is the best health-related decision I've ever made.

If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Week #69: Down -1 lb for a total of -110 lb

Slow and steady wins the race... Slow and steady wins the race...

That's something I've been repeating to myself over and over in the past several weeks as "1 lb" becomes entrenched as the weekly loss. My metabolic memory seems to want to keep me right around my current weight, but I'm dragging it kicking and screaming to a lower level. And come hell or high water, it will continue to adjust itself. My new metabolic memory is the 170/180 lb mark. I just haven't convinced it of that yet. :)

Well, -110 lb is quite an achievement, and I'm a smidgen away from the -111 lb milestone that I've been telling you about for some time. It's only one of the many milestones in my journey, but it's an important one... and I'll let you know why it's a milestone when I get there!

It's Thanksgiving here in Canada and my family celebrated yesterday. Monday is the "technical" holiday but many people celebrate with a meal on the Saturday or Sunday (mostly Sunday) before. I went to my mother's and brought along faux mashed potatoes and low-carb pumpkin pie (recipe to come).

My Thanksgiving "treat" was some butternut squash that my mother prepared. Very tasty! That's one thing that I miss a lot - squash - but it's not the end of the world. The fall is a perfect time for it, isn't it? Squash is allowed "sparingly" on low-carb, but it's definitely not something that I have around the house because I would likely overindulge. Best to keep it as a treat a few times per year.

With that said, I want to wish my Canadian blog readers a very Happy Thanksgiving! Be good, eat well... and eat low-carb!

If I can do it, so can you! And if you're just starting out on your low-carb journey, stick with it! It will be well worth it. You will eat REAL FOOD... HEALTHY FOOD. Begone with all that sugar, carbs and other junk that keep us unhealthy, tired, depressed and overweight. You are worth it!

And remember...

No excuses!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Week #68: Down -1 lb for a total of -109 lb

Slow and steady wins the race, as the old fable goes! (Click on the photo for more on that fable.) I continue to lose slowly, but it's going in the right direction, so I'm definitely not complaining.

I thought I'd gained this week because my university ring was feeling a bit tight. Normally, I can take it off my finger with no problem, but it seemed to be "sticking" a bit in the past few days. Happily, this didn't end up being a weight gain.

I made a really nice chicken and eggplant lasagna on the weekend. I just threw it together and it ended up being delicious! I'll figure out the recipe and put something together this week. (The eggplant replaces the lasagna noodles.)

That maple hazelnut butter fudge I made a few weeks ago has become an absolute favourite. Wow! It's very addictive. In fact, I think I need to slack off a bit. Perhaps if I cut it out for a week, I'll see a bigger loss. But it's nice to have treats and still lose!

That's it for this week. I have a couple of recipes to post, so will definitely be making a few entries this week.

Remember: If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses!

LLVLC On YouTube: Low-Carb Mashed Cauliflower (Episode 52)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Underground Wellness: The Missing Links of Health and Weight Loss

Low-carb recipe: TVP "oatmeal"

If you're following a low-carb diet or are diabetic and trying to stabilize your blood sugar, textured vegetable protein (TVP) makes a great alternative to oatmeal while giving the same level of satisfaction and "feeling" of eating the "real thing".

I tried this the other day and am hooked! I love it! This stuff fills you up and keeps you happy until lunchtime. I made mine in the crockpot and takes only two hours until it's ready to eat! (And it filled the house with a wonderful aroma, too!)

This makes a batch of about six reasonable servings. TVP is sold in the organics section of most supermarkets, in health food stores and at bulk stores.

The original recipe is posted here at Laura Dolson's excellent About.com low-carb website.

Recipe
  • 2 cups TVP granules
  • 1 quart (946 ml) unsweetened soy milk (can use coconut milk or other milk - I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla (or adjust the above seasonings to your taste - my next batch is being made with pumpkin pie spice... yummmmmmmm!)
  • Sweetener to taste (or you can sweeten each individual bowl to your liking)
  • Optional: Whisk in eggs. 4 eggs makes it more like rice pudding (I didn't do this)
Preparation

Mix all ingredients in crockpot, large saucepan/Dutch oven, or large covered casserole dish (be careful about this - when Laura Dolson tested it in the oven, it overflowed).

Cooking times

Crockpot/Slow Cooker: It will be cooked in about two hours on high or four hours on low, but you can let it go longer and it won't hurt it. (I cooked mine for two hours on low and it was 100% ready.)

Oven: About one hour at 350F.

Stovetop: Bring to boil, then simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally - you should know by looking when it's done.

Carb count

Assuming unsweetened soy milk and liquid sweeteners (zero carbs), the entire recipe has about 36 net carbs and makes about 6-10 bowls of "oatmeal", depending upon the size.

(Click on the photo for a larger version.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Week #67: Down -1 lb for a total of -108 lb

Another new record this morning! -108 lb and counting!

This week has been a real challenge. It's been absolutely crazy. Between work, volunteer work, blogging and "life in general", it's just shown me how important (nay... essential!) it is to plan ahead.

Every weekend, I make sure that I prepare food ahead for the week. Even if it's having cold cuts, cold chicken and salad in the refrigerator, it's better to have this stuff on hand rather than come home to nothing that's easily prepared after a long day at work. That's a recipe for dietary disaster.

PLANNING has made this more successful than I'd ever hoped... and it's definitely allowing me to stay on track. After all, when you plan - you have NO EXCUSES!

If you have a big freezer, USE IT. If you don't have one, BUY ONE. Even a small one. Every weekend, I prepare batches of chili and other goodies and freeze them to ensure that I have low-carb meals on hand. It takes little/no effort to throw something in the microwave and heat it up!

Plan ahead. Be diligent about it. Don't let anyone throw you off track! Do it! Do it for yourself!

If I can do it, so can you!

Have a great low-carb week and don't let anyone throw you off track. Take charge. Inform yourself. Don't let naysayers who know NOTHING about low-carbing talk you out of heating healthy while they chow down on sugar, bread, potatoes and all that other stuff that has turned us into a society full of overweight and unhealthy people.

No excuses!

A shout-out to Jimmy Moore!

Many thanks to my American blogging buddy Jimmy Moore who mentioned my recent Hump Day column on low-carbing! It was a really nice surprise to be mentioned!

Jimmy's low-carb success story has inspired me greatly and I urge you all to check out his Livin' La Vida Low-Carb website for more information!

Click here to read the entry where he mentioned Hump Day. Take the opportunity to look through his immensely resourceful and informative website while you're there.

Thanks again, Jimmy!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Top three weight-loss mistakes

This guy makes a ton of sense. It's amazing how many people think that those horrible rice cakes are diet food. They are the worst things you can eat!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Week #66: Up 0.5 lb for a total of -107 lb

I pretty much stayed the same this week except for a small half-pound weight gain, which is nothing to be too concerned about - but I would rather have lost it, of course!

Things are going well. I slacked off on the water on the weekend! *slaps my wrist* I just didn't seem to find time for it. I had to miss a few meals because I was either on the road or too busy between meetings, so I ended up eating more nuts than I would normally. Personally, a handful of nuts are OK about once or twice per week for me, but more than that and I tend to gain. I definitely had nuts more than twice last week. (In my books, peanuts and cashews are NOT nuts. They are legumes. Best to stick to the real nuts that grow on trees: walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts.)

That fudge I made is absolutely amazing. Perhaps too much of it was the culprit? I don't think so... I don't think I ate enough of it to make the difference between a gain and a loss.

It's a great day here in Moncton. Fall has arrived - my favourite time of year! - and the sun is shining. The mornings are cool and the days are quite comfortable.

Have a great day and a great week, everyone!

If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Recipe: Brian's to-die-for low-carb maple hazelnut butter fudge


UPDATE - September 22, 2008: I increased the maple extract and didn't make a huge difference. Just go with your preference. I also made a batch using almond butter and 3/4 tsp of almond extract. Delicious, too... especially if you like almonds! Personally, I love 'em!

UPDATE - December 23, 2009: You can also add a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses for colour. Adds some richness.


OK... can you say "DELICIOUS!!!", people? This a recipe I adapted from the very tasty peanut butter fudge recipe I posted several days ago,

- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick - use SALTED butter, please, unless you're using salted hazelnut butter - I'm not even sure if that exists, though)
- 1/2 cup natural hazelnut butter
- 2.5 oz. cream cheese (by weight), softened
- 1 cup granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda (I used Sweetzfree)
- 2/3 cup low-carb vanilla whey protein powder
- 1/2 tsp maple extract (could be increased to 3/4 tsp for stronger flavour)

First a note on hazelnut butter. You can probably find this in the organic section of your grocery store. It's quite pricey but is one of the lowest-carb nut butters you can find! The oil will likely be separated from the butter, so you will need to mix it together again after opening the jar. It is pretty much impossible to stir in the jar. I dumped everything in the electric mixer and gave it a good stir that way! Worked like a charm. It is quite liquid-like, especially after having been mixed.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the hazelnut butter and stir well to combine. I used a whisk.

Whisk in the cream cheese until well blended. This may take a bit of stirring, but the heat of the melted butter will eventually help melt the cream cheese.

Whisk in the maple extract, then the Splenda.

Then stir in the protein powder. I use a silicone spatula for this part.

I lined a loaf pan with non-stick aluminum foil and poured the mixture into that.

I originally put it into the refrigerator, but felt that the oil was separating from the hazelnut butter again, so I put it in the freezer to stop that and make it harden faster. Worked like a charm! After an hour or so, I moved it back to the refrigerator.

I will probably increase the maple extract for my next batch.

These taste amazing, if you ask me! They are nice and smooth and quite simply to-die-for!

Click on the photo for a larger version.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Week #65: Down -1 lb for a total of -107.5 lb

Man, I wasn't feeling the loss this week, but I was happy to see a -1 lb loss on the scale this morning!

It seems like dropping cream from my coffee and cancelling the coleslaw and ham from my diet have made enough of a difference to show up at the scale!

I've been eating really well and found a couple of new low-carb dessert treats, such as the peanut butter fudge recipe I posted earlier.

I'm not one to experiment with recipes, but I did experiment a bit after that first delicious batch and have discovered a to-die-for variation that is melt-in-your-mouth delicious and even lower in carbs than the peanut butter fudge! I'll be posting the recipe here in the next couple of days. It will be worth the wait, trust me! It is so delicious that it should be illegal.

Until then, keep on truckin' y'all! If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Week #64: Down -1.5 lb for a total of -106.5 lb

Well, I hit a new record this week... -106.5 lb! Très happy about that! The weight has started to drop again, so this stall seems to be over. And if it isn't, well then I'll kick it to the curb anyway. Away with ya! :)

I could feel the loss this week. My belt got looser. In fact, I need a new belt and am throwing away my current collection of belts that I have at home. They are reminders of me when I was bigger. Time to take a hike! I'm also chucking a bunch of old pairs of pants. No need for them to stick around either! I'll keep my biggest pair as a reminder of what I could barely fit into... a pair of 4XL worn-out and patched-up rugby pants that pretty much fall to the floor if I put them on now.

It's time to move on to the next stage of a big chunk of weight gone before Christmas! Let's keep this party going. :)

Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement.

If I can do it, so can you.

No excuses!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Recipe: Low-carb peanut butter fudge


I decided to make these today after seeing one of Kent Altena's videos on YouTube.



And now the recipe:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick - unsalted is important UNLESS you're using unsalted peanut butter. If so, salted butter is fine)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used smooth organic)
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda (I used Sweetzfree)
2/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder

Melt the butter and peanut butter together in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes; whisk well. Whisk in the cream cheese until well blended and smooth. Whisk in the Splenda then the whey protein powder and blend well. Line a loaf pan or 8"X8" square pan with wax paper or nonstick foil. Spread the fudge mixture in the pan and chill or freeze until set. Cut into 20 squares. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

Makes 20 pieces. Can be frozen.

With granular Splenda:

Per Piece: 105 Calories; 9g Fat; 4g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fibre; 2.5g Net Carbs

Per 2 Pieces: 211 Calories; 18g Fat; 8g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fibre; 5g Net Carbs

With liquid Splenda:

Per Piece: 101 Calories; 9g Fat; 4g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fibre; 1g Net Carb

Per 2 Pieces: 201 Calories; 18g Fat; 8g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1.5g Dietary Fibre; 2.5g Net Carbs

I found that these tasted fine, but the texture needed some getting used to. It wasn't unpleasant at all, just different than fudge made with sugar. I really liked them, though, and will make them again. I'll freeze what I made tonight. To get 20 pieces, you really should use a 8" X 8" square pan. I made two batches: one using a loaf pan (the photo above is from that batch) and one using the square pan. The pieces using the square pan are not as "high/thick" as shown in the photo. (Click on the photo for a larger version.)

UPDATE - SEPT. 7/08: I just amended the salted/unsalted butter issue. I used unsalted peanut butter AND unsalted butter. You should probably go "one with" + "one without". I used both "without salt" and it could use a bit, I think. The original recipe assumed the peanut butter was salted.

Click here for the original source of the recipe at the excellent Linda's Low Carb Menus & Recipes website.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Week #63: Down -1 lb for a total of -105 lb


Since it's Labour Day and I'm actually busy doing some stuff (I thought this was supposed to be a day of rest?), I'll keep this short and sweet.

Although my weight is remaining relatively stable, my measurements continue to improve. I'm not measuring myself per se, but my pants are getting looser and my shirts fitting better. I guess my body is catching up to my weight loss. So, even though I'm remaining stable, it remains motivating to still "feel" like I'm losing, so that's all good!

I'm remaining 100% true to low-carb. Nothing will change that.

When this stall is over, I'll start dropping the pounds again!

Until then, it's all or nothing!

And "nothing" is NOT an option.

No excuses!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fat Parents, Fat Kids, Hot Cheetos, G2, and Rims!

It drives me crazy, too, when I see overweight kids at the grocery store with their overweight parents with a cart full of candy, carbs, garbage, etc.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Recipe: Low-carb "miracle brownies" with flax

I made these for the first time on Sunday and brought them into work on Monday after letting them age a day. (It's recommended that you let these age day before eating to improve the texture.)

These are excellent and got rave reviews from the non low-carbers I work with! I really love them, too, and they are a perfect substitute (and even taste better!) than the traditional sugar and flour-laden versions.

- 1/4 lb butter (1 stick - I used salted butter)
- 2 cups erythritol (powdered, not granulated - see end of this post for a note on erythritol)
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 4 eggs (room temp is best)
- 1/2 cup cocoa (I used high-fat expensive cocoa from the bulk store)
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 2 cups flax seed meal
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup cream
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 cup artificial sweetener (I used granular Splenda)
- 1 cup walnuts (optional - I did not include walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9" X 13" pan.

1) Cream the butter until fluffy.

2) Add the erythritol to the butter and cream them together until fully combined. Aim for a fluffy texture.

3) Add the vanilla and beat the eggs into the mixture, one at a time.

4) Add salt and cocoa, beat well.

5) Add chocolate, beat until fluffy.

6) Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine.

7) Pour into a pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until top springs back. (You can also test if they're ready by sticking a toothpick in the brownies. If it comes out clean or almost-so, they're done.)

8) Cool, then cut into 32 squares. If you cheat and eat one warm, know that the texture will be different once completely cool. That's when they become like real brownies. (They are even better the next day.)

Nutritional analysis: Each of 32 brownies has 1 gram effective carbohydrate, plus 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat and 107 calories.

This great recipe is courtesy of About.com. Click here for the original copy of the recipe.

Click here for a note on erythritol. You can purchase erythritol online here. If you live in Moncton, it's sold at the Corn Crib natural food store on Mountain Road. It's quite pricey, but well worth it if you want to do some serious low-carb baking! Just remember to grind it up in the food processor or blender first! The granular type that is sold in stores needs to be "powderized" in order not to turn your baked good "gritty". I looks like sugar but does not dissolve like sugar.

The above photo is from the batch I made on Sunday. Click on the photo for a full-size version.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Week #62: Stayed the same for a total of -104 lb

Not much to report this week, other than I finished off my last batch of low-carb (but high-calorie) coleslaw and will be taking a break from it for a bit. For my "salad" vegetables, I've purchased some organic baby spinach, cucumber and cherry tomatoes, which I'll have with my cold meat suppers. (Often, I'll have cold chicken for supper because I can't be bothered to cook.) I'm also taking a break from deli meats this week to see if that will help.

I'll also be making that cauliflower "rice" more often from the chicken curry recipe that I posted on Saturday. It was really nice!

Before I start walking on a regular basis, I absolutely need to get my butt to a chiropractor to readjust my back. The left side of my lower back has been driving me nuts. It gets worse when I do a lot of standing - like when I cook a lot on the weekends! And boy, did I cook up a storm this weekend! *ouch*

I hope you all have a great week, too! You can do it!! I know you can!!

No excuses!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Recipe: Low-carb chicken curry with cauliflower "rice"


I made a very nice low-carb chicken curry tonight! I'm not a huge fan of curry, but I do enjoy it from time to time. I made a double batch and froze the leftovers. The serving sizes are quite tiny, so I increased them a bit. What's a hungry boy to do? I got six servings instead of eight out of the double batch.

I strongly recommend making the cauliflower rice. This was the first time I'd attempted it and it turned out really nice! Quite tasty! I used a packet of chicken bouillon instead of an "organic" bouillon cube. I'll definitely be making it again to go with other dishes.

You'll see in the recipe that you can use either yogurt or pureed cottage cheese. I used pureed 2% cottage cheese. I also omitted the optional cayenne pepper. It was spicy as it was, but if you like spicier, the cayenne pepper would have definitely increased the heat!

The texture of the curry part of the dish was OK, but I found that the large amount of spice caused it to be a bit gritty. The texture of the cauliflower helped to tone down the grittiness, that's why it's best to have it with the cauliflower.

I quite liked it and will make it again, but this batch will probably last me several months since it's not something that I eat very often.

And yes, it does definitely smell up the house!

Click here for the recipe, which can be found at the amazing Healthy Indulgences blog that's chock full of gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb, all-natural recipes.

Click on the photo for a larger version. (I'm not an expert at food presentation, so please forgive the amateurishness. It's garnished with (a bit too much) cilantro (also called "coriander").

Monday, August 18, 2008

Week #61: Up 1 lb for a total of -104 lb

OK, this stall is getting on my nerves. Up one, down one. Up two, down two. When I get my butt in gear and start walking, it should kickstart things!

Regardless, I even more determined than ever. I will never give up... ever!

Meanwhile, I'm going to continue seeking ways to weed out things that may be sabotaging my weightloss. My next experiment is the coleslaw that I always have in the refrigerator. Despite being low-carb, it's chock-full of calories with the mayor and heavy cream that I use to make it. Since I eat that stuff (the coleslaw) like crazy, it is time to cut it off for a month and see how things go. I'll switch to salad after this current batch of coleslaw is eaten.

Will this help? I hope so!

In the meantime, I will continue low-carbing and am loving my changing body and newfound attitude toward food. I'm quite proud of myself!

I'm loving this and loving the inspiration that people tell me they are getting from my journey. I really appreciate the positive feedback.

If I can do it, so can you! If you believe you can do it, you can... and you will.

I know I can do it... and I'm doing it!

No excuses!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

No escape from getting out and moving

Hump Day
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Moncton Times & Transcript
Page D6

Now that I've tackled the yoyo dieting monster and am on a firm and unwavering journey to my perfect weight, I've come to the conclusion that I need to start being more active to kick start my metabolism into high gear.

I've written about this in my "wishful thinking" days when I was trying to force myself into doing something by writing about it. If I wrote a column about going for a walk every day, I'd have to do it, right? (This is where the hysterical laugh track kicks in, folks.)

Well, it didn't work. I think I went for two walks and then decided to put it off for some reason that seemed good at the time: 1. I'd cut my toenails too short, putting me much too off-balance for walking; 2. I'd eaten salmon for supper and everyone knows it's a scientific fact that people who go for walks after eating salmon have a much higher ratio of dying in their sleep; 3. I didn't want to overexert myself after scarfing down 10,000 calories worth of treats from the bakery. And haven't you heard that walking on a full stomach causes endangered pandas to become constipated? You wouldn't want that on your conscience, now, would you?

I'm making a concerted effort to move more. After getting absurdly high estimates for clearing out the overgrown brush and trees in my back yard, I borrowed some tools and decided to do it myself. Since there was no reason that I couldn't do it myself, I did! (Being faced with highway robbery was a motivating factor, too!)

It took just under two hours to complete the job, minus the carting away. My back yard has never looked so good and I was proud of my accomplishment. I'm not a person who traditionally enjoys yard work, but I did feel a real sense of accomplishment after the task. There's nothing quite so energizing as giving a man a saw and a back yard full of overgrown trees. I felt like I'd regained total control of my environment!

I was half expecting Helen Reddy to show up on my doorstep singing, "I am woman, hear me roar," which would have probably been appropriate had I been female.

I'm also thinking of getting a dog. Although my two cats already drove a third out of the house, another dog wouldn't cause the cats' territorial urges to spring up, I hope, and they would grow to accept a dog. Taking a cat for a walk is usually not possible, although it's done. A dog would be a great motivator for getting out for walks! I'm looking at a Coton de Tuléar rescue right now. (If you're not sure what a Coton de Tuléar looks like, check out my blog.) They're small, hypoallergenic, love to walk, and their personalities even lend themselves to working as therapy dogs.

I just hope that if I decide that I have a place for dog in my life that the two cats don't gang up on the poor thing, although I'm pretty sure that a Coton would put them in their place pretty quickly! I'm an animal lover, but I don't want to disturb what is a perfect pet situation right now just for the sake of me going out for walks. I can walk on my own, of course, but having a canine along would be more fun.

Luckily, as I've aged, I've rid myself of many of those old exercise fears, even though I need to put this newfound maturity and bravery into practice.

One of the most negative impressions ever placed in my brain happened when I was a kid and trying to lose weight. At the urging of my father, I decided to take up jogging. I barely made it around the block when I heard some neighbour call out, "Fatty trying to lose weight?"

Needless to say, I stopped exercising. Several decades later, though, as a grown adult who's determined to be in my goal weight range, I'd love to meet that person again. The result of that exchange would be much different today.

"Fatty trying to lose weight?"

"Yup! Got something to say about that, buster? Is there some sort of idiotic know-it-all wisdom you'd like to bestow upon me in between picking your teeth with the flap of that matchbook, watching Jerry Springer reruns and getting ready to go out on a hot date with your own sister? And. . . oh. . . by the way, those teeth you're missing? They're embedded in my knuckles. Here you go! You can have them back. They were weighing me down anyway."

The bottom line is that I'm slowly coming to the acceptance that exercise is pretty much a mandatory aspect of ongoing permanent weight management, especially for those of us who have chosen -- for whatever reason -- not to incorporate it into our lives before. At one time, I was able to drop weight like crazy. I still lose weight relatively easily, but I desperately need to increase my metabolism so that it comes off faster.

Of course, I always knew that, but now that I'm bound and determined to fit into that bikini and have 14 months of successful weight loss behind me -- and more ahead! -- getting out and moving is essential. And considering the sense of accomplishment with my yard work over the weekend, it can also be joyful. Hmm. . . now, what about that dog?

________________________

PS to blog readers: I decided not to get a dog. :(
________________________

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Today's Hump Day column...


... is all about exercise and my slowly coming to the acceptance that it's a necessary (and joyful!) part of ongoing weight loss.

Check it out on the editorial page (pg. D6) of today's Moncton Times & Transcript. It will be posted online here tomorrow.

PS: When you read the column, just an update that I've decided not to get a dog at this time.

LLVLC On YouTube: Doing Low-Carb On A Budget (Episode 49)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Week #60: Down -0.5 lb for a total of -105 lb

Although I wasn't expecting to lose this week, for some reason, I was happy to hop on the scale this morning to see a half-pound loss. Six more pounds 'til that magical -111 lb mark that is one of my major goals. I'll tell you why it's a goal when I get there! My goal is to lose 240 lb (yes... LOSE 240, not WEIGH 240).

People keep saying, "Oh you don't need to lose that much." Thanks, but you ain't seen me naked, honey! :) Trust me!

I've been thinking about getting a dog to encourage me / force me to get out there and walk. Of course, I don't NEED a dog to go for a walk, but it would make walking more enjoyable. I've been looking at a Coton de Tuléar "rescue" (return to the breeder) who's in need of a good home. Cotons are small, hearty dogs who love to go for walks in all kinds of weather - rain, snow, etc. But, with that said, getting a dog is a big commitment - and a life-long one, at that! (The photo above is of me taken on the weekend with a Coton de Tuléar named Zaza.)

Anyway, it's something that I'm thinking about. It's a very serious decision, though. I have two cats now, but they're not much good for exercise motivation unless bending over to pick up hairballs is considered high-intensity calorie burning. *grin*

Wishing you all a great week! If I can do it, so can you.

No excuses!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Some people may wonder what one of my meals looks like...

Here's what I had for supper last night:


- Two chicken leg quarters (cold)
- Brie cheese
- Homemade coleslaw
- Shaved Genoa salami (good quality, no sugar)

I bake some chicken at the beginning of the week and keep it cold in refrigerator. I always have some low-carb coleslaw on hand, too!

You'll notice that there were no potatoes, bread, starches, pasta, etc. I could have also had a big caesar or garden salad in lieu of the coleslaw.

Low carb, not low fat is the best way to go

Hump Day
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Pg. D6

Although I'm not a fan of summer, I do have to say that I enjoy some aspects of it, most of it relating to food.

As the weeks progress and we move more fully into harvest season, I enjoy the smell of corn husks being opened by grocery shoppers looking for the best "ears" to take home for some good summertime eating. The presence of local strawberries, raspberries and blueberries is also a sight for sore eyes.

Nothing beats fresh, local food for its appearance, taste and quality. Frankly, it just doesn't get any better than that.

For the past year, I've been following a low-carb diet that has seen me drop more than 100 pounds (so far) with a corresponding drop in blood pressure that has allowed me to reduce my medication. I'll return to the doctor's office in a couple of months to make sure it's staying within the safe range, but the readings at my last visit a couple of weeks ago were nothing short of a home run!

Fresh food is a staple of any diet, especially mine. Since I've pretty much eliminated packaged food from my pantry, I've turned to fresh and good quality frozen food to make up the largest part of what I eat. Gone are the days of processed, high-sugar, low-quality foods. These days, I make pretty much everything from scratch.

Even though I've generally eliminated processed foods, sugar, flour, pasta, potatoes and high-glycemic fruits from my diet, I can't deny that I'm tempted every once in awhile, but it's mostly emotional temptation rather than a real craving. Once you get rid of the sugar "rushes" and "crashes" that most people suffer from, those nasty cravings disappear.

These days, I'm more attracted to the "memory" of how something tasted rather than the strong biological urge to pig out.

Emotional cravings are those where the basis is nostalgic rather than physical. For instance, I crave ice cream in the summer because they go together. There are "low-carb" or "sugar-free" ice creams in stores, but those are normally full of maltitol, a sweetener that can leave you running to the bathroom if you're not careful. I'd rather not eat any at all if that stupid maltitol garbage that manufacturers insist on putting in their products is going to force me into performing an impersonation of an out-of-control volcano.

Emotionally, I do wish someone would invent a carb-free, high-fibre potato so that I could enjoy a piping hot serving of french fries at a carnival. Those were always the best. The grease was old, the fries so hot you could barely eat them, and the atmosphere just wonderful. Once the pumpkins come out this fall, however, I'm going to try to make my own low-carb version of french fries using my deep fryer and julienned pumpkin strips. Apparently the final result is quite similar! I can't wait!

And if you're wondering why I'm on a diet and using a deep fryer (occasionally, mind you -- not every day), let me stress once and for all that I am of the firm unwavering belief that fat doesn't make you fat; it's sugar that makes you fat! I know that every dietician reading this just fainted, but all the research I've done and my own personal experience has absolutely convinced me that the low-fat diet that North Americans, especially, have been following in the past generation has caused us great physical harm.

Obesity and diabetes are now so commonplace that it's practically considered "normal" to have diabetics throughout one's family tree. It's not. But after gorging oneself on sugar and high-glycemic foods (white flour, rice, pasta, potatoes, etc.) for years, what does one expect? When the fat went out of our diets, sugar came in big time. . . or foods that acted like sugar in our bloodstreams (potatoes, pasta, etc.) The low-fat experiment has been disastrous. It's a complete sham and, in my opinion, a national tragedy.

I cringe when I look through the American Diabetic Association's recipe section on its website. I kid you not that they have recipes on there that include white sugar. What's next? Serving martinis at AA meetings? Cigarette breaks at lung cancer support groups? Passing out directories of the best drug dealers in town at Narcotics Anonymous gatherings? It's baffling. Absolutely baffling.

When I tell people that I don't eat sugar, potatoes, pasta, etc. anymore, the usual reaction I get is "I can't do that!" Uhm, yes you can. Just decide to. That's all you have to do. Even though I'm not diabetic, I eat like the worst diabetic in the world. My entire diet centres on keeping my blood sugar stable. That's one of the major keys to weight loss, folks, not this wrong-headed low-fat garbage that only keeps you constantly hungry.

I realize that low-carb is not in fashion anymore. What we need to do is rebrand it to "low-glycemic", meaning that you eat to keep your blood sugar stable and avoid the spikes that cause cravings and weight gain. In fact, eating low-carb is the way we used to eat before we became fat-phobic.

Did you know that the rich were the only obese people in the late 1800s because only they could afford expensive white flower, white sugar and candy? Now, everyone can afford it. And now, everyone's overweight and diabetic. Low-fat is the "fad" diet, not low-carb. And it's been a complete and utter national disaster.

What I decided to do was to cut the emotion out of my diet and replace it with facts. That the gift I decided to give myself back on June 17, 2007, when I started down this road, and it's the gift that I will never give up.

I truly hope that society wakes up to the dangers of sugar and high-glycemic foods before it's too late or risk dying younger than the generation that preceded it. Our addiction to the low-fat, high-sugar diet is hilariously -- and tragically -- misguided.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

After losing 104.5 lb so far on low-carb, even my watch got too big!


This used to be so tight on my arm that I was thinking about adding links to it. I certainly don't have that problem now!

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about the myth of the low-fat diet and how a generation's adherence to this wrong way of eating has caused an entire society to become overweight and diabetic. Fat doesn't make you fat. Sugar makes you fat. Sugar should be our #1 dietary enemy... NOT fat. Read all about it on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript or check back here tomorrow when it will be posted online.

I am particularly incensed by the American Diabetes Association's inclusion of white sugar in their recipes. It's unbelievable. And look at this atrocious food pyramid they put out:


Breads and starches as their #1 choice????? Breads and starches????? If you know ANYTHING about controlling your blood sugar, you should be staying away from that stuff BIG TIME.

This just goes to show that there is a very powerful wheat lobby on this continent.

(For those of you who don't know, I write a weekly column for the Moncton Times & Transcript called "Hump Day". Usually, it deals with humorous aspects of my life, general observations, etc. This week, I decided to write about low-carb.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Week #59: Up 1 lb for a total of -104.5 lb


Things remained stable this week, relatively. Although I gained a pound, I can feel myself shrinking inches-wise, so there's definitely progress on that front. The belt that was on its last hole and getting looser every week continues to do so even though my weight has remained stable for several weeks.

The challenge of the past week was definitely eating out several times. It's vacation season and there were tons of friends in town visiting. I made responsible choices, but eating out is never as good as staying home and making it yourself, that's for sure.

I'm fully expecting a loss next week that will bring me back to the positive side of my weightloss goal.

In the fall, I will start walking to kick start this thing back into high gear. So far, I've been able to lose quite easily without exercising, but it's becoming abundantly clear that I don't have that luxury anymore. And that's OK. Being adverse to exercise my entire life, I'm going to have to switch gears and get into something. I'll start with walking and then progress to other things as the weight continues to drop off.

I would be quite proud of myself if I did that because, quite frankly, when you've grown up as an overweight person all your life, exercise is no fun and has horrible memories... from people pointing and laughing, to coming in last in school competitions.

But that's in the past and this is the future. Time to put that behind me and embrace exercise!

Bring on the spandex, baby! :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Week #58: Down -3 lb for a total of -105.5 lb

Time to get out that Speedo, folks! *waits for screams of horror to subside*

Don't worry... don't worry. Just a sick summertime joke!

Well, things got back on track this week and I had a very good loss after yo-yo'ing and staying stable for several weeks. I did follow through on my promise to stop putting cream in my coffee. Since I drink a lot of coffee, I was also drinking a lot of cream! Nothing wrong with that - in moderation - but when you added all those calories up during the week, I believe they were holding me back.

So, for the first time in my life, I'm drinking black coffee. And you know, it ain't half bad! I actually really enjoy it!

I'll keep on truckin' to -111 lb, my next goal! Woohoo!

No excuses!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My low-carb energy drink

There are tons of energy drink recipes out there, but here's mine... and it's low-carb, too!

In a blender, place:

- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop of unflavoured (or flavoured - doesn't matter) whey protein powder (unsweetened or sweetened with Splenda)
- 1 heaping tbsp of chia seeds (I grind them after measuring)
- 1 heaping tbsp of ground flax seeds
- 1/3 individual packet of sugar-free berry-flavoured drink mix (Nestea, Crystal Lite... whatever)
- 1/4 cup frozen berries (I use raspberries)
- 1/2 tsp banana extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 8 drops Sweetzfree liquid Splenda or 1/3 cup granular Splenda
- 1/3 cup soft tofu (I just throw in a big blob of it - make sure it's the softest one available)
- 2 capsules green tea extract (I open the capsules and pour the contents in - discard the capsules afterwards)

Blend on highest setting for 20-30 seconds. I pour this into a Thermos and bring it with me to work every day and drink it at about 3 or 4 p.m. This has kept me from eating so much in the evenings lately. Gives about 2.5 to three cups. I make sure to rinse the blender out with a bit of water and pour that into the Thermos, too. Don't want to waste any of that goodness!

If you let this sit in the refrigerator or a Thermos for a few hours, it thickens up incredibly (those are the chia seeds at work!).

Popular YouTube blogger Josh recently posted his own energy drink recipe. (It's a joke, by the way. Don't try it at home. Watch it right until the end. I wasn't sure if he was joking until he actually tasted it.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Week #57: Stayed the same for a total of -102.5 lb

Things remained stalled as I have gained and lost the same 2 lb for the past several weeks, it seems. Tomorrow, I am moving to black coffee (GASP!!) in the hopes that perhaps the cream is adding a ton of unnecessary calories to my diet. I'm going to see if that kickstarts anything. (Trust me, the amount of coffee I drink could be affecting my weight since I like a lot of cream in my coffee.)

On the positive side, my blood pressure is amazing at 110/75 from a high of 170/100 1.5 years ago. I was able to reduce the medication I'm on due to the fact that it has come down so low. Currently, I'm on 20mg of Adalat and 8mg of Coversyl Plus. I've now reduced the Coversyl to 4mg daily (with my doctor's approval, of course). We'll check my blood pressure again in two months to see if it stays down! This reduction in medication is a direct positive result of my weightloss, so I'm THRILLED about that. God, I hate those pills!!!

Let's see if the elimination of cream (and cheese, too - might as well!) kickstarts this baby again.

Yes, I know... I'm going to have to start walking for exercise at some point. I realize that.

I'm 100% motivated and committed. I don't care if I never lose another pound (well, I do - but you know what I mean). I'm glad those 102.5 lb are gone and they ain't never coming back!

No excuses!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Week #56: Up 2 lb for a total of -102.5 lb

Up and down. Up and down. Up and down.

For the past several weeks, I've been gaining and losing the same 2 lb. Enough already! Looks like I may have to break down and exercise. Grrrr... I will have to start walking, I think.

I'm frustrated, but not discouraged. The rest of this damn weight will come off.

No excuses!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Week #55: Down -1.5 lb for a total of -104.5 lb

Phew! Well, I made it back down to the -104.5 lb mark, which is my highest loss so far. I definitely want to exceed that next week and chart chugging toward the -110 lb mark and beyond! As I've said before, -111 lb is my next big milestone, which I'll explain when I get there. Very exciting!

I started drinking homemade energy drinks again this week that include chia seeds, flax seeds, tofu, protein powder, almond milk and some other things. I'll put a recipe up on this blog this week.

So yeah... things are good. The energy drinks are taken in the late afternoon to tide me over during the evening. So far, they've worked really well and I'm so glad I started making them again. They also provide lots of fibre, which is also a very good thing when you're on low-carb!

So this week, it's more of the same. Drink the water! Drink those shakes! Eat low-carb and do well. It's going to be a GREAT week, folks!

If I can do it, so can you!

No excuses!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Week #54: Down -1 lb for a total of -103 lb


Had a good week this week, despite my fears that I would gain again. 'Twas not to be, however... and I had a loss of one pound, which I'll take over a gain any day of the week!

Things are good. Did much better on nuts and cheese this week. I made myself some sugar-free Jell-O, too... so that will help with any munchies that may attack. I'm also thinking seriously of switching from coffee to tea. I'm wondering if the cream that I need in my coffee (no sugar, of course!) is slowing down the weight loss. I may experiment for a week. After all, there's nothing I love more than a nice cup (mug?) of Earl Grey tea or King Cole tea.

I'm looking at kicking the "loss mode" back into high gear. It's slowed down considerably lately, so it's time to get going again! I'm not complaining, but I want to continue. I'm not even halfway to my goal yet: -240 lb. (That's a LOSS of 240 lb... I don't want to weight 240 - well I do, but you know what I mean...).

Have a great week everyone!

If I can do it, so can you. Seriously. That's not a cliché.

No excuses!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Week #53: Up 2.5 lb for a total of -102 lb


*SIGH* Well, the yo-yo'ing continues this week with another gain. Seems I've been doing that a lot lately (yo-yo'ing, that is...).

I really didn't do well with water this week, so that is partly to blame. We were moving at work and the "routine" was certainly out of whack a bit. The lack of routine can be a major impediment to staying on course... but that certainly doesn't mean it's impossible. I'm just saying... Otherwise, the week wasn't bad. Now that we're in our new office space, things are getting back to normal.

Looking forward to getting back into the "loss" column next week! Until then, have a great week and stay healthy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Week #52: Down -4.5 lb for a total of -104.5 lb

Yayyyyyy! It's my one-year anniversary on low-carb, folks! Exactly one year ago tomorrow - June 17, 2007 - I began my journey toward a normal weight by cutting out excess unhealthy carbs, including sugar, pasta, potatoes, starchy vegetables, wheat, bread, high-glycemic fruit, etc.

Although I'd gained 3 lb in the past two weeks, I remained bound and determined to keep at it. After all, when your mantra is "No excuses!", you don't have much of a choice, right? Well - wrong, actually. You ALWAYS have a choice... and I choose to STICK WITH IT.

I was thrilled to step on the scale this morning to find that I'd wiped out the loss of the last two weeks + added another 1.5 lb to the loss on top of that, putting me at my all-time low of
-104.5 lb lost since I started. I'm very happy and satisfied this morning with the week. I really watched my nut intake, but also cut down on cheese, which had been creeping into my diet in amounts that were a bit counterproductive to weightloss. You can eat cheese and nuts on low-carb - just remember that they're very (very!) high in calories.

After one year on low-carb, I'm looking forward to the next 104.5 lb loss! I can't wait for next June to roll around, when I'll have at least another 100 lb gone! My next celebrations will be at -111 lb (I'll explain why when I get there!) and -120 lb (again - explanations when I get there).

So happy anniversary to me and a big ol' pat on the back! *pat pat pat*

See y'all next week!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Week #51: Up 1 lb for a total of -100 lb

Good God... I gained two weeks in a row. That's the first time that's happened since I started this journey nearly two years ago. Very discouraging... but as usual, I can point to a few "faux pas" during the week. Nothing over the top - just enough to screw me up. Grrrrrr...

The BS is now over. Next week there will be a loss and when I hit week #52, I want to be at - or very near - my lowest weight ever since starting.

I am NOT going the other way. I am NOT discouraged. In the 10,000 previous efforts at losing weight, this is the point where I've given up and strayed. This time, I am absolutely even MORE determined to stick with it.

I feel too good - both physically and mentally - to go back. After you've lost 100 lb, you can't help but feel differently. And I can tell you absolutely categorically that it's a HELLUVA lot better than the alternative.

No excuses.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Week #50: Up 2 lb for a total of -101 lb

Grrrrrr... Crazy week. Didn't go off track, but wasn't as careful, either. Ate some commercial fried chicken that I should have skipped. Was so exhausted and starving that I had to eat something. One of those weeks, I guess! I cooked all day on Saturday to prepare for the week because I knew this would be a challenging week. I am well prepared for another seven days of low-carbing!

This week: Once again need to watch the nut intake - and the cheese intake, too. You can eat both, but not mounds of them on low-carb.

Looking to lose this week's entire gain next week!

No excuses!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Week #49: Down -1 lb for a total of -103 lb

Considering that I was sick as a dog for the last part of the week and loading up on sugary cough syrups and other medicines, I was quite happy with a 1 lb loss! Medicine is where I draw the line at the "no sugar" rule. When you feel you're half dead and can't stop coughing, sometimes you just have no choice. The "no appetite" thing seems to even things out anyway. Had I been out shopping for medicine, I would have looked at no-sugar options, but this one came on very fast and I had to work with what I already had in the house. But sugar-free syrups, etc., is definitely something I'll look into for the next time!

My one-year anniversary on low-carb is coming up on June 17.

No excuses!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Week #48: Stayed the same for a total of -102 lb

Hi everyone! Staying the same this week was a real victory because I had an insane week up until Thursday, when I took some time off from work. I have a few days of well-deserved R&R (rest and relaxation) before I return next Wednesday. I spend a couple of days out of the office on the road, including one full day on the election trail with a local municipal candidate, so eating regular low-carb meals was a challenge, but I managed to hold my own, thankfully. When you're philosophy is "No excuses!", you pretty much have no choice, eh?

Things are back to normal, now, so I'm hoping for a nice loss next week. Until then, have a very enjoyable low-carb week.

No excuses!