New Years Resolution to Lose Weight in 2013? Your LowCarbConfidential.com Quick Start Guide

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This is the time of the year where the traffic to my site skyrockets as folks decide that they want to make a change for the better in the new year and have decided to try a low carb diet to lose some weight.

Unfortunately, I have over 500 posts here, and it’s a bit harrowing to try to navigate all this – even for me. Really – at 500+ posts, I might want to begin to pare down some of the less useful posts (ie: crap) so that people don’t get lost in all this.

Before I do that, however, I thought I could provide a guide to some of my more popular posts – as well as some of my own favorites that I think would be most helpful in hitting the ground running on a low carb diet. Continue reading “New Years Resolution to Lose Weight in 2013? Your LowCarbConfidential.com Quick Start Guide”

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Research from 1934 Shows a Diet that Induces Ketosis Kills Harmful Bacteria

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In doing research for my book, I came across this article from the June, 1934 issue of Popular Science:

If you eat a diet consisting of 140 grams of fat, twenty-five of protein and fifteen of carbohydrate, you can increase the germ-killing ability of your body, researchers at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., have just discovered. Dr. A. E. Osterberg, of the clinic, reported at a meeting of the American Chemical Society that such a diet has been found to increase the production of ketones, or bacteria-destroying acids which are normally manufactured from the fat of the body in the process of digestion.

popsciketonearticleInteresting that the article calls such a diet ‘balanced’ – perhaps science was smarter then about nutrition than we are now? This is a ketogenic low carb diet the researcher was discussing.

It is also interesting that I have never heard the notion that ketones might act as an internal natural bacterial-fighting mechanism. If that is indeed true, it is another benefit of a low carb diet I was unaware of.

You can check out the article yourself at this link:

Review: Trader Joe’s Hake En Papillote Frozen Entree

hake[As a reminder – I don’t do paid reviews for products. If I ever did, I’d let you know…]

Before we left on vacation, my wife stocked up on some frozen stuff from Trader Joe’s so that we wouldn’t come home on Christmas day to an empty fridge. On a whim, she bought this ‘Hake En Papillote’. I had no idea what the hell this was and had no plans to go near it – one of my rules of eating is: don’t eat it if a picture of the item with the words ‘serving suggestion’ appear on the box. To me, this is short-hand for ‘I contain crap’.

My wife had put in one box for me, however, and I was the guy who took them out of the oven. They were still in their boxes in the oven – which I didn’t get at first. Curious, I read the label:

“En Papillote” which translates as “in parchment,” is a microwave and oven friendly package for steaming foods but can sometimes be unwieldy to open once cooked. Trader Joe’s Hake en Papillote is presented in a slick little parchment origami box which steams the fish and vegetables and is easy to open: just remove the paper lid. Hake is a mild white fish with a solid texture which we’ve combined with grilled zucchini, cherry tomatoes and pesto sauce for a super easy and flavorful entrée.

Hmmm…interesting. Not your usual ‘nuke in plastic tray’ stuff here. I figured that they had to screw it up some other way so I checked the ingredients: Continue reading “Review: Trader Joe’s Hake En Papillote Frozen Entree”

Blueberry Donut – A Poem on the Temptations of Empty Carbs

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I don’t write poetry – as the following will clearly show.

Me and the donut
(or the donut and I)
I caught it out of the corner of my eye
it was by the coffee pot
in the ‘free goodies’ spot
I coveted it – I cannot lie

I got my coffee
and went back to my work
But the donut kept calling
I felt like a jerk
It was blueberry
and glazed
I was really half crazed
as I noshed a zucchini instead

Late afternoon
I went for more joe
the donut still there
it called soft and low
I went back to my office
had yogurt although
My alimentary orifice
wanted to ‘know’
that blueberry donut
in an intimate way
though now stale, its appeal
still held much sway

I checked on it again
in late afternoon
still untouched, still virgin
I imagined a balloon
where my stomach now is
He is now mine; I am now his

Waiting for Oblivion

Who are these people?

I have no idea who these people are.

I found this picture in a box of old family photographs I came across as I attempted to put a dent in the mess that is my basement. A half-century of existence, a decade and a half of marriage and 13 years of offspring and the effluvia that is discarded as the children mature all leave copious amounts of crap to sort through when one gets up the courage to do so.

Looking at the picture I would date it from the 1920s. The only things I can tell you about this picture are: these are relatives of mine, and every single one of them is without a doubt dead.

I spend every December reviewing my life and my past, looking at what went well in the past year and what didn’t. I like to reinvent myself from time to time – to become a more perfect imperfect me. Sometimes I just do it to shake a rut, while other times my life has depended on it. Continue reading “Waiting for Oblivion”

Cooking Strange Combinations of Foods on Low Carb

‘Fusion cuisine’ is tasty rule-breaking

A fridge clean-out inspired me to swing for the fences in terms of mixing together leftovers and forgottens to make an edible and low carb meal for myself one evening. I needed to cook up some ground beef I had bought last weekend – but how? I decided to make ‘Whatevs’ – whatever I found in the fridge with ground beef. Because of what I found, I decided to do a scary experiment: just how far can I go out-of-bounds of what foods go with what? My ingredients were as follows:

  • 1 pound ground beef, browned in 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1.5 cups of chopped tomatoes loitering in the fridge
  • 1 can of black olives
  • 1 cup of bok choy
  • 2 jalapeno peppers with seeds left in for heat
  • 1 slice chopped Virginia ham
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh Asian-style mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 ageing cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large onion

Despite the odd inclusion of bok choy and jalapeno, I seasoned it with oregano, parsley and basil. I let this simmer for a half hour after browning the beef then putting in the rest of the ingredients.

The verdict? Pretty damn good if you ask me. I had a quarter-pan of the stuff. I used the Loseit! calorie-counting app on my iPhone to determine the calories for the entire pot, called it ‘1 serving’, then had a 1/4 of the pot, for a total of 543 calories. I added freshly grated parm cheese and enjoyed every bite. There are 3 servings left that I assure you I will eat, though I might not detail to coworkers and causal acquaintances just what is in my lunch.

While I ate it I was reminded of how our food prejudices prevent low carbers from eating perfectly acceptable foods simply because the combinations are unusual. Why!?! Is it really all that bad to put bok choy, asian-style mushrooms, ham, bacon and jalapeno peppers in a dish together with Italian seasonings? Somebody had to be the first to think that a lemon – a tropical fruit, went well with sea creatures. We don’t question this just because we’re used to it.

Fact of the matter is: if you enjoy the combination, you can eat anything paired with anything else, and if you are willing to experiment, you can come up with plenty of variety for health and enjoyment that might fall out of the mainstream, but can make your life more enjoyable while on low carb.

UPDATE:

I omitted a detailed nutrient profile for this stuff – forgive me:

Calories: 543
Net carbs: 10g
Fat: 40g
Protein: 33.5

 

 

Superman Orders Kryptonite with Mushrooms and Onions

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That’s a damn good-looking Sicilian pizza…

[This is #2 in a series I call ‘Scenes from a Low Carb Life’ that I originally wrote for my book but removed as I have decided to take a different approach. Think of it as an excerpt from a book that will never exist. There *will* be a book – this just won’t be in it.]

There are certain foods that I have such a weakness for that I am wary of even being in their presence. Like Superman could be made weak by kryptonite, I could be made into an uncontrolled eating machine by pizza. It was my final test, the true test that the ketogenic low carb was working rather than willpower and it was body chemistry and new habits and routines practiced over 18 days that I hoped would allow me to fend off an assault by pizza when that fateful day where pizza was thrust in front of me would come.

I needed to do this: stare a pizza down. Make it blink first. Continue reading “Superman Orders Kryptonite with Mushrooms and Onions”