Saturday, April 24, 2010

Second week back at it strict and deep into ketosis

I have to say, this has been by far the easiest transition back onto a strict induction eating plan that I have ever made. I was fortunate enough to waltz right through the first 5 days without a single craving, weak spell, or moment of true hunger. What is even more amazing to me is that here I am 12 days in and I already have to FORCE myself to eat! I don't recall this happening before; I remember not bing AS hungry, but twice this week I skipped a meal. Not good, but I just forgot to eat!

I've been eating a TON of eggs and bacon; two reasons 1) it is a quick, easy, and simple induction friendly meal, 2) it is very cheap and transports to work easily in one container. What can I say... I'm pretty much lazy.

This week I had planned on modifying a recipe for peanut butter pie but it ended up that I needed to order some stuff to experiment with so instead I attempted to make a low carb no-bake cheesecake. It turned out really good (thanks Jamie) and the only things I think I need to change is less crust and more sweetener in the batter. I think they might be related because the almond crust didn't have very much sweetener so it might have just overpowered the flavor from the cheese mixture. I actually had some of the cheesecake for lunch a couple days and it tasted great and was very filling.

I'm planning on working on the recipe conversion this week once my Netrition order comes in. I also ordered some carbalose (low carb flour substitute) so I hope to be able to attempt some other breaded recipes like chicken Parmesan :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Who wants to double down?

There's been considerable buzz (positive and negative) about this new "sandwich" from KFC... they have both a fried and grilled version reported to contain 11g and 3g carbs respectively. Basically, it is 2 chicken breasts, a couple flimsy slices of bacon, one slice of pepper jack cheese, and "special sauce". I opted for the grilled version but in haste forgot to ask for the sauce on the side. I got mine to go so I had to smell it the whole 8 minute drive home...

I opened it up and my first impression was "wow, this isn't really that big"... then I opened it up and I was like "wow, I expected this to be bigger...". Now it was pretty big, but I'm a big dude and I like to eat so I wanted more than was there. It came in this paper wrapper that let you eat it with one hand which was nice; it kept all the grease, sauce, and melted cheese off my "I ♥ BBQ" tshirt so I was a happy camper. The overall taste was at best a 6 or 7 out of ten. The chicken was juicy and hot but I could barely taste the bacon or cheese. The sauce overpowered the rest of the components, so I think next time I will drop the sauce and perhaps dip it in sour cream or something maybe even some baconnaise :)

All in all, probably a better choice as far as low carb goes, but not worth $5, I think $3.50-$3.99 would be a proper price range. So we'll give the taste a 6.5, the value a 4, and I would say as far as filling my gut... about a 6. I could have easily eaten another one.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Homemade Baconnaise rocks the hizzle

Ok so I'm talking to my good friend Jamie and we're talking bacon.. and about making baconnaise from scratch. She's went fancy and I'm well... lazy. Here is my attempt at making a delish mayo/bacon spread that you can use anywhere you want to taste bacon but need a spreadable mayo.

So of course you need bacon and mayo, but for kicks I threw in a good bit of black peppa, some garlic powder, a little ranch dressing, and a tidge of paprika.

To begin with, fry up three strips of bacon until crispy. Cut, crush, or crumble into small pieces trying to only use the crunchiest parts. I put the bacon in my Magic Bullet and pulsed it into a magical bacon powder :). Getting a fine powder helps prevent it from being chunky.

In a small bowl combine about a fist size pile of (preferably room temp) mayo, the bacon powder, 3 shakes of garlic powder, 0-2 Tbsp of ranch dressing (I love ranch and think it pepped up the overall taste), about a Tbsp of black pepper and toss in some paprika to help with the coloring. Thoroughly mix with a fork and taste. Secret ingredient spoiler.. liquid smoke! Add about 5-8 drops of liquid smoke and thoroughly mix again... taste.

At this point you should either like it or love it. If you don't like it, you can tweak it up or down. If the flavor is too strong, squeeze some additional mayo and remix. If it is too weak, you can add a little smoke, some garlic/pepper, or of course make, blend, and add some additional bacon and taste again :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

State of the Union 4/12

Ok, so I've learned the hard way that if you don't pay attention and "back slide" into some of your old ways, all of a sudden your jeans don't fit like they used to. You don't need a belt because they're so tight they stay up without one :(... So how do I fix it? What is the "plan of attack" to correct this little problem? Eat more food of course, but eat the right food. My weakness isn't bread, it has always been ice cream and cookies; even worse, cookies and cream ice cream LOL.

So here we go; as stupid as I think this sounds, I made a fresh start today (Monday). I cooked breakfast for us this morning and decided to just make a little extra and carry it to work for lunch. 3 bacon, 3 eggs for both meals although the 3 eggs were fried this morning and scrambled for lunch. I actually ate the bacon and eggs cold at lunch and really enjoyed it!

I really think that motivation has been my problem; rather it has been lack of motivation. When I was at my heaviest, I had plenty of motivation... I felt like I was close to dying. So I lose the weight and get to buy all these new clothes and where's my motivation? I thought it would be there to maintain the loss and continue to slowly lose a few more pounds but sadly that didn't seem to be the case.

So I have NEW motivation now! While at the beach for spring break, my wife "proposed" to me and asked if I would marry her again in the fall. We are going to renew our vows on September 25th, 2 days after out 15th wedding anniversary and I just HAVE to get this regained weight off and for good this time. I basically have 5 months or 20 weeks to "drop it like it's hot" (well actually "drop it while it's hot"). Tennis is in full force, I'm really getting into my training for the 5K so I'm trying to run more often now and it's starting to get REALLY warm. Tennis tournament season is starting in less than 2 weeks and I think one of my teams will e heading to the state championships before 9/25. I have to do this! I need all the encouragement you guys can offer me... I need to be held accountable for my mistakes just like everyone else!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Look for some weight updates soon!

I've packed on a few pounds and am ready to shake it off... not with a shake weight or anything silly like that; just a "back to the basics", no frills low carb eating plan. We're heading to the beach in a few days which will prove challenging as always but I plan on getting plenty of exercise running around with 8+ kids as well as playing a little tennis. I intend on completing week 5 of the Couch to 5K running program while we are gone and am looking forward to the flat terrain and warm temperatures :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Running update

I'm having severe pain in my shin area when running, especially on my left shin. I've asked around and people have different suggestions but the most common theme was that I needed new shoes. I got to looking and the running shoes I bought were NOT for road running so that could be a big part of the problem.

Friday, we were headed to Chattanooga and I wanted to stop at Big Peach Running Store because I read about the service they offer to match you up with the correct shoe. Basically, they take 2 measurements; first they use a tool that measures your pressure points when you stand to determine your arch type and where your center of balance is. The second test is to record you running on the treadmill for a few minutes to see if you over/under pronate or have a neutral running type. Alice was the employee that helped us and she was VERY knowledgeable and opened my eyes to some of the mistakes I had made.

I found out that I have medium to high arches (my right arch being considerable higher than my left) and I have a slight to moderate pronation when I run. This means that when I land, my foot tends to kind of "roll" inward and therefore I need a shoe with good arch support AND "structured cushioning" on the inside to help prevent/ease the over pronation. Then came the fun part... trying on shoes. I tried on about eight pair of shoes and several combinations of them to determine which ones "felt" the best to me. I was asked to take a short run in each pair to see if I could tell a difference. I tried on Nike, Saucony, Brooks, New Balance, and Asics... the first pair I tried on ended up being the ones that felt the best out of all of them... the Asics GEL-Kayano® 16.... wow, what a shoe! Out of all the ones I tried on, these were simply amazing.. the fit and comfort level was heads above any shoe I've ever owned (and trust me, I have about 15 pair of shoes right now!).

So I learned through this process that shoes, the right shoes, are super important. I made an uneducated selection of my first pair of shoes and ended up with an all terrain shoe that appears to have been a really bad choice. I learned about the different kinds of pronation when running and how a shoe can help correct/compensate for that style to make your runs more comfortable on your feet.

I'm hoping to get out and test these shoes this weekend and get back on track for my Couch to 5K running program! :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Couch to 5k??

I hate running; I couldn't stand running in gym class. I used to think all morning and come up with some excuse to give the phys ed teacher so I either didn't have to run or could at least walk. So what's the point of this blog entry? In short, I'm running!

So I decided I wanted to try running... partially as a challenge to myself, partially to help my tennis, and partially to help me lose some more weight and help keep it off. A friend suggested the running program for beginners called "Couch to 5k" so I had to check it out. The goal of the program is to go from being a couch potato to running a 5k in about 9 weeks... I'm a bit skeptical for myself, but I see TONS of people have had success with this program so why not, right? After a few brief moments on the website, I learned how the program worked by alternating jogging and walking at first and then gradually decreasing the amount of waking time until you're eventually running the entire time.

I also quickly found several developers have an iPhone/iPod app that keeps up with all of the weeks and times so all you have to do is listen and run. Basically, you just kick off your music and then start the program... select the week and hit start. Verbal cues and optional voices are played over your music at the key exchanges letting you know when to switch between jogging and walking. Not necessary, but it sure does make it easy!

I ran Friday, 2/19 for my "day one experience"... not too bad, I ran around the neighborhood and I could tell that the jogging part really made a difference in how far I went in the time I was out there. In my previous walks we estimated about a mile and I'm pretty sure I went over 2 miles this time. I decided I needed some running shoes and went out to Kohl's after dinner and got a great deal on some New Balance shoes that were on sale AND an additional discount that night (I love a great deal) :).

Day two was going to be Monday but it was going to rain so I ran on Sunday evening on the high school running track. Much easier than day one but I still have my doubts about how long I can run. Today was day three and the last day of the first week. Same running schedule but today was much different for me. I went to the dentist this morning and got a shot that was really hurting. I think I have a sinus infection and/or a cold. I had absolutely ZERO motivation to run today. Plus it was 35 degrees outside and the wind was blowing about 10MPH. Did I mention I hate running?? LOL... I went ahead and decided to run despite the lack of motivation and pain :(. I went out to GoldDust park in Villa Rica to run on their trails with the thought that the trees would help cut the wind down. I failed to think about the trails being in the shade of said trees and thus being colder than the other areas... silly me. Anyhoo, I "got my run on" and did the program, it was VERY tough today. I had zero energy but I pushed through. On the 7th "run minute" I was hurting so bad, my calves and shins were on fire. So like and idiot, what did I decide to do?? Quit, right? No, I decided to see how far past the 60 seconds I could run in the 8th run minute. I ran and ran and yelled at myself until I made it all the way through my 60 seconds and through the 90 second walk time! I didn't think I could run that far or that long. The down side of it is that I am REALLY sore now; of course that might be the upside of it meaning that I did a good job pushing my body even more and burning more calories... we'll see how I feel tomorrow!

Monday, February 15, 2010

More Atkins goodies from the recipe contest

In an earlier post, I showed pictures from the first shipment of products from the Atkins recipe contest. Today, I received to large boxes from Atkins Nutritionals Inc. and couldn't wait to tear them open. This was the shipment of all the food products; pretty much one of every Atkins product. These boxes contained over 20 packs of their bars, 6 4-packs of their low carb shakes, a box of their new pasta, and 2 pounds of all purpose baking mix. There was also an eco-friendly shopping bag and Atkins The Complete Cookbook was also included. They also threw in a little surprise that I was NOT expecting... an autographed photo of Courtney Thorne-Smith (fellow low carber and Atkins spokeswoman) holding, you guessed it, my casserole recipe prepared and ready to eat!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

What is the deal?

So you've fallen off the wagon... maybe a little or maybe a lot. You're back on plan and feeling tons better. The weight might not be coming of as fast as you'd like but it's worth it to keep forging ahead. Is it just me, or do you get the feeling that you need to "cheat" after just a few days? I have found that days 3, 4, and possibly 5 are the toughest for me. When I've been lulled into eating foods I shouldn't, changing gears back to making healthy choices takes tons of dedication. It is so much easier (out of laziness) to just eat what is in front of you; what is simplest to "fill you up"... but it never does the trick and you're back for more. Kind of like when you eat out at a Chinese restaurant for lunch and are hungry again by 2PM...

So what challenges do you face with your dieting plan? Cheats, eating out, free food at work?? Let's hear them!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Week one of 2010

Well, so far it isn't going exactly as planned. I'm in a contest with a good friend to lose 25 pounds and so far I'm +1... not exactly sure what's going on but I'm hoping this next week will show progress in the right direction. Regardless, it is fun to send him pictures of all the yummy low carb food I'm eating while he's eating tiny portions of low calorie food items... :)

On a positive note, I received half of the kitchen stuff from the Atkins recipe contest I won and the products they picked out are AMAZING! We haven't ever had cookware and a knife block/set that are of this high quality before. I feel bad using them because they look so beautiful... check out the pics below. I'm still waiting on a utensil set and all of the Atkins products but I wouldn't be eating most of them at this point of my diet anyway :)