Things Discovered: Simple Mills


So, now that I’m back on track (more or less), I’m continuing the quest for yummy, hopefully somewhat healthier, low carb options. Enter Simple Mills and their line of gluten-free bake mixes.

I ordered the 3-count set, which came with Chocolate Muffin, Artisan Bread, and Chocolate Chip Cookie mixes. Of course, I made the Chocolate Muffins…

chocomuffins

They weren’t bad and still warm it was like eating a brownie (which according to the directions you can actually make brownies with this mix so double yay!!). Not super-sweet – more of a dark chocolate flavor, but all-in-all pretty tasty. And at 110 calories* and 14 carbs, it definitely fits into my diet (with a little protein and fiber thrown in as well).

Can’t wait to try the other mixes!! Yum!!

* to make sure that each muffin was as close to the suggested serving as possible I used a one tablespoon scoop and evenly distributed the batter. Each muffin cup took about 3 tablespoons… making a total of 12 muffins.

NOTE TO SELF: RE-REVISITED


It’s pretty clear to me, that the banana flavored meal replacement shake isn’t as filling as the other flavors (such as the mocha and chocolate that I generally also drink). Like, it has nearly the same ingredients (other than the flavorings), but for whatever reason, when I drink the banana ones, I spend the rest of the day starving, whereas, with the others I don’t feel the constant need to fill my belly. So… no more banana. Or at least not to start the day with.

Things Discovered: Lenny & Larry’s The Complete Cookie


thecompletecookie

YouTube

My only complaint, really, is that the one that I had was a 4oz cookie – so I guess you were supposed to break the cookie in half and eat just one side, since one serving is only 2oz. But apparently, they have fixed that in the new packaging which comes in an actual 2oz size, so at least I’ll know that for any future purchases I don’t have to worry as much about going WAY over my calorie/carb count.

Otherwise, not bad. The first bite was a bit dry and less than tasty, but it’s one of those things that sort of grows on you after a while. Overall, I’d probably buy one again – maybe try some of their other flavors.

Thinky Thoughts: Food and Chronic Pain


Constant refrains of “if you’d just eat healthy, you’d feel better” are annoying at best, and frankly bullshit at worst – for most people, but I have to say that for me, cutting out most of the carbs has made a huge difference in how I feel. Before I started the diet, I was eating Advil LiquiGels like candy (well… not quite, but still more than I should have been). These days, I rarely have to take anything, unless my achilles tendinitis is flaring up.

In case I needed more proof, there’s this week. The other day, I ate ALL THE FOOD. Didn’t care about counting calories/carbs, etc… not only did I finish off the donuts (mmmmm…. donuts), but hubby and I also ate Taco Bell – which I know, there are plenty of better places to eat when taking a vacation from your diet, but sometimes you just want a box of tacos and a bean burrito. Honestly though, I don’t think we will make that mistake again. When I woke up the next morning, I felt like shit. No energy, swollen, and aching all over – like I haven’t felt since I cut out the carbs. Ewww!! Totally did not miss feeling like that, and will do my best to not feel that way again any time soon.

Of course even if the benefits were blatantly obvious, eating healthier is a luxury that not everyone can afford, particularly those who are disabled or lower income. Not only a money thing though, but even the time/effort it takes to prep can be daunting. If you have limited spoons, just trying to cook something (even if it’s way better for you) is just too much, and if you are rushed between taking care of the kids and getting to a second job or other errands, eating on the go might be the only option (rather than not eating at all). Just wish that more places would work on giving people healthier low cost “fast food” options. We’d all feel better for it.

Cheat Week


I’m a bit off the wagon this week. I had a planned cheat day on the 3rd – my 22nd wedding anniversary – and to be fair, I did most definitely enjoy my trip to The Melting Pot. However, my youngest also developed a UTI and so we also spent most of that day (other than dinner) at the urgent care and then later the ER. So lots of stress and of course, that leads to wanting to eat comfort foods.

The mistake that I made, was buying a box of donuts (Entenmann’s Frosted Devil’s Food Donuts). Thankfully, there are only 8 of them, so they will be gone soon – but in the meantime, it’s clear I can’t resist them. I mean, they are my favorite ones, so I should have known I couldn’t just eat one and let it go. With the stress and accompanying exhaustion of taking care of an ill kiddo, I’m not exercising like I was last week either, so more calories + less exercise makes for not losing weight.

I feel bummed about it, but I’m also not going to beat myself up about it. I know this is just a bump in the road – I have no intention of quitting my diet. I’ve made too much progress to throw it all away now. Still… sucks that can’t find a better way to deal with stress.

 

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 7


Week 7: 350

Weight Lost This Week: 6 pounds

Total Weight Lost: 40 pounds

I started swimming again this week. Didn’t go Monday, but have been every day since for at least 30-45 minutes. Currently doing about 20 laps in about 30 minutes (pool is 25 yards each lap). I know that is slow, but I figure it’s better than nothing. Probably won’t go on the weekends (too crowded), but hopefully will get there at least 3-4 times per week. Not really bothering with other exercises while I’m there – they don’t burn near as many calories, so kind of a waste of time.

I also discovered that the Halo Top Chocolate Mocha Chip is way better than the Mint Chip flavor. WAY. BETTER. I mean… the mint one wasn’t bad, but it tended to leave a funky aftertaste. The Choco Mocha – near to perfect.

🙂

Things Discovered: Great Low Carb Bread Co


On my continued quest for low-carb options, I came across the Great Low Carb Bread Co, and of course, I had to place an order. Obviously, they make bread, but they also make pastas, pizza crusts and other goodies – all right up my alley. I miss my carbs desperately and thankfully the box finally arrived!!! Lucky for you, I spent the next few days trying everything out.

Probably goes without saying, the first thing I tried was the Great Low Carb Low Fat Chocolate Brownie. Brownies are my downfall, I LOVE THEM!!!! Especially, the crunchy outer edges that are slightly overcooked. These, unfortunately, not quite hitting my brownie love sweet spot, but they still aren’t bad if you are having a serious craving.

GLCBCBrownie

They are made with stevia and erythritol, which are sugar substitutes, both of which are something of an acquired taste (stevia, in particular, is a lot sweeter than sugar). The plus side though, is that these brownies are low calorie, low fat and low carb – only 55 calories per 2 oz serving size, with only 1.5g fat and 3 net carbs (22g carbs overall, but 10g of fiber and 9g of erythritol are subtracted from that total). Personally, I don’t do the “net carb” thing, so I just count the whole amount, but I also think that the 2oz serving size is a fairly generous portion, and found that eating 1oz was more than enough for me.

Bottom line, I’d probably just make a batch of regular brownies and eat half a serving (or calculate in a whole one on a special day). The taste/consistency is really that important to me. Having said that though, others might not be as picky as I am and find the GLCBC brownie just fine the way it is. Definitely something I’d recommend at least trying once to see if it works for you.

grilledcheese

The second thing I did with my order was make a grilled cheese sandwich with my low-carb Plain Bread. Two slices per serving has 60 calories, 3g fat, 8g total carbs (net carbs only 1g), 7g fiber and 7g protein. Grilled cheese is my other go-to comfort food, so of course, I just had to. Again, though this time due to using way less butter than I would normally use, it wasn’t quite up to par with my old-school grilled cheese, but still way better than never eating one ever again. As for the bread itself, definitely a winner!!

Up next was the low-carb Fettuccine. It’s got 100 calories a serving, and though the 25g of carbs seems high, it has 18g of fiber, giving a net carb total of 7g. Plus, it’s got 12g of protein. The 2 oz portion size is quite generous, and honestly, I will probably drop it to 1.5 oz or even 1 oz in the future. But for review purposes, I ate the whole thing with a bit of alfredo sauce and it was YUMMY!!! So yummy in fact, that I forgot to take a pic of it before I ate it all. XD

I still have the pizza crust to check out, but I’ll probably save that for a bit later. Until then, enjoy!! 🙂

Things Discovered: Halo Top


So… in my (current) never-ending quest to find low-carb foods that I can eat, I came across a few winners today. At the top of that list… Halo Top ice cream. It’s very low calorie, and best of all low-carb. The normal (1/2 cup) serving size only has about 14g carbs, and if you cut that in half to a 1/4 cup, then it’s only 7g carbs. Plus, I also found Mrs Thinster’s Waffle Crisps, which are these little pieces of waffle cone – yum!!! But, the best part is that a normal serving size is like 15 crisps (120 calories / 22g carbs), which is great if I ever have a serious craving, but for average consumption, I can cut that into thirds to pair it with the ice cream and it makes for a nice treat that fits well within my food budget (71 calories/14 carbs/3g protein – there’s a bit of fiber in there too, so net carbs are even less) .

halotop

Another keeper… Special K Crustless Quiche. Great for a quick meal or snack – 140 calories, 7 carbs, 2g fiber and 11g protein.

 

Note to Self: Revisited


In my original post, I noted how awful certain flavors of my meal replacement shake tasted. Upon reflection, I think that it was more that my taste buds were so used to super-sweet flavoring in everything, that they rejected the not as sweet flavors as being “gross.” I say this, because I’ve noticed this week that most of the shakes, even the ones I mix (the Iced Mocha and Vanilla, in particular) don’t taste as bad, and the chocolate one, which has been my “go to” for most days, actually tastes like chocolate milk (which it didn’t really, in the beginning).

Makes me wonder what other food flavors we are missing out by adding so much sugar to things, or even the non-sugary stuff we eat, our taste buds are so over saturated that it changes the way things taste, in general.

Something I Want To Try…


In my desperate search for things to eat, and to find ways to replace the yummy things I miss (like pizza), I will occasionally post recipes and ideas here that I want to try. This week – I’m going for some sort of low-carb version of pizza (or a pizza-like substance)…

Things I Need To Buy

  • Toufayan Bakeries Low Carb Pita Bread – 100 calories per pita / 3.5g fat / 125mg sodium / 16g carbs / 7g fiber / 8g protein
  • Sargento Shredded 6 Cheese Italian – 90 calories per 1/4 cup / 7g fat / 200mg sodium / 2g carbs / 0 fiber / 7g protein
  • Hunt’s Tomato Sauce w/Basil, Garlic & Oregano – 20 calories per 1/4 cup / 0 fat / 360mg sodium / 4g carbs / 1g fiber / 0 protein (only need a spoonful or so though so even less of an impact on the actual recipe)

Note (if making something like a quesadilla instead) – the 4 Cheese Mexican blend has 110 calories per 1/4 cup / 9g fat / 170mg sodium / 2g carbs / 0 fiber / 6g protein. Also look for low-carb tortillas.

So just slap sauce and cheese on the pita and bake for a bit. Then YUM!!! Could also add some spinach (which is negligible in terms of calories and carbs) for a little something extra.