The 4 X 4 To Living A Full Life. I’d like to feature this young woman’s remarkable writing!
Hello, Low-carbers and New Year’s Resolutionists! Hello, writers and readers, and in-betweeners. I have returned because I am feeling creative again. It’s amazing what a few days off of work in retail can do for your soul. I have caught a bit of a bug, but it doesn’t seem to be so bad- at least not yet.
I have been creative in the kitchen lately. I guess I am excited to have accomplished attaining my Personal Training Certification. I would specialize in diet and nutrition. But it’s a science that is ever-evolving, and the text-books are still preaching the Low-fat Holy Road to Salvation, and I won’t teach that. It turns out not to be my truth, and not the truth for many of us.
So I will probably specialize in group exercise class and at some point, Yoga.
Meanwhile, here’s a little low-carb breakfast quiche/fiesta bowl I cooked up this morning.
You will need:
a low carb tortilla for each one you are making. Try Mission’s Carb Balance in white or wheat. It helps to have one of those as-seen-on TV taco salad bowls that are metal and oven-ready.
Meat of your choice- or make it meatless if you prefer. I used organic breakfast links, fried up and cut up. 3 links is what I used.
3 eggs per the serving. 1/4 cup Tillamook or other cheddar. 2 Tbsl. water to add a bit of lightness to the eggs. You can also use sour cream, same amount for this.
3/4 cup raw spinach. Saute in pan with onions and olive oil. Start the onions first. When translucent, add the spinach and salt/pepper to taste.
Use your Range Mate and start the sausages on 5 minutes if frozen, or fry them up in a separate pan.
I recommend 375 on the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until top looks firmed and just a tad golden.
Pictures tell the best story, so here goes.
After doing this ‘lifestyle’ for a while now, I forget that a lot of people have a completely erroneous belief system about what Atkin’s is, along with any of the other popular low-carb or moderated-carbohydrate eating plans out there making the rounds right now. I could whip out my Atkin’s book and fill your minds with all of the science behind carbs, sugars, glucose, glycogen, insulin resistance, the addicting properties of sugar, ad nauseum until your eyes roll back in your skulls and you reach for your usual evening snack of a Butterfinger and coke, but there are a lot of good books out there that explain the science. I have a working knowledge of it, but I am no biologist, nutritionist, nor chemist.
So, let’s just start with dispelling some of the most common myths right away. These are things that I hear people chatting about in weight loss forums, and I roll my eyes at the ignorance.
“Yeah, my cousin just told me she’s doing Atkin’s. I mean, she’s living on mayo and bacon, OMG. She won’t eat bread, but bacon is ok?
“Yeah, my mom did that for awhile. She never ate fruit or veggies”.
Ok ok. Enough of this crap. First of all, if the cousin is living on bacon and mayo, she might be trying to jump start ketosis. Ketosis? What’s that? A sign of kidney disease? NO. It’s not. That would be ketoacidosis, a very serious condition usually seen in uncontrolled diabetes where the body is burning too much fat. Ketones are a by-product of that fat-burn. You might notice ketone test strips for sale at the Rite Aid or see them in a diabetic friend’s bathroom. They let you know if you’re burning fat. For those of us who are healthy, a fat burn is a good thing. How do we burn fat? Well, first, it helps if you are not overeating the other fuel of your body- carbohydrate. The body prefers carbs simply because they are more easily burned, and the body does not give a flat damn how you look in jeans, it’s job is to efficiently turn your food intake into usable energy. The carbohydrate portion of what we eat is just easier to break down. It doesn’t mean it ‘s better for you. In a perfect world, all our carb sources would be vegetable and fruit, with a smattering of unrefined grains. The human body was not created with a need for , nor ability to properly assimilate the carbs known as candy bars, grocery store cakes , and those nasty little one dollar fried pies wrapped in wax paper wrappers. A little of anything will generally not hurt anyone. So, pasta may not be brimming over with minerals, fiber, vitamins, protein- well, ok, anything of real value, really- but it’s a tasty holder for sauce and meat and veggies which do. In low-carb diets, we just eliminate the useless, white filler foods which have no nutritional value and replace them with things that are good for you, such as more veggies, or meat or even cheese. All you’ve been hearing about fats like those in cheese turns out to not be so bad for you after all when eaten as part of a low-carb diet. Why is that?
Let’s back up to answer that. Remember the ketone strips, and burning fat rather than carbs, which convert into glucose/become glycogen. That’s right, either your body is running primarily on protein and fat, or it’s running primarily on some form of sugar. Most of us are in the middle. Tip the balance and we can gain or lose weight. You can also lose weight by simply consuming less, but most of us can’t seem to stay with that one long-term. Low carb makes this easier for those of us whose love of sweets and starches is more than simple oversight, more than a casual, occasional overeating phase. The bacon and mayo example above serves a great point for illustration here. As the body is being converted over from being a glucose/sugar burning machine primarily, to a fat burning one, the first two week ‘induction’ phase of most low-carb diets does consist of a lot of meat, cheese, and greens. Notice the greens. Some people swear by small fat/protein jaunts to speed up the process even faster, but I personally don’t feel it’s necessary for me.
So, which is superior nutrition? Bacon and eggs with strawberries, or cereal, pancakes, and fruit? Which has the most protein, by which your body fuels every muscle in your body? Which has more useless white flour and sugar? Would you feed a racehorse straight sugar before a race? You see, spiking your blood sugar causes a rush of insulin to counteract. Once your blood sugar returns to pre-spike levels, you might often feel a crash, and get ravenously hungry and shaky and grouchy well before lunch. Not only does your body not have enough slower burning, necessary protein and fat to keep you going, but your blood sugar is now too low. So, in a misguided attempt to correct this, we might grab donuts, chips, candy bars or the hallowed yet useless granola bars to quickly raise our blood sugar levels again,and it ‘s not even lunch time. I know that there are many normal weight people out there who have more stable reactions to sugars, who can eat cereal for breakfast and be fine until lunch, have their subs and chips and never be overweight, but I am not one of them, and neither are many of us. I am , like many of us in the world, strangely and profoundly addicted to the documented release in dopamine and seratonin from my brain which eating refined carbs and sugars causes. We are programmed from early childhood to capitalize on our natural enjoyment of sweetness by being rewarded with candies and cookies and cakes, for celebrations, good behavior, and are set up to think that these things are what we deserve for being ‘good’, when nothing could be further from the truth! Finally, good low carb diets like the one I follow is huge on veggies. In fact, the first two weeks meals consist of two salads per day, and after the first two weeks, the emphasis is always on veggies, low-glycemic fruits, and clean meats as much as possible, like salmon, other fish, meat, dairy and eggs/cheese. There is even a way to do low carb and still be vegan. Our carbs can come from moderate amounts of quinoa and couscous , too, but grains should NOT be the staple of the diet, veggies and protein should. I mean veggies that do not have a large carb/starch component, because the body converts that into sugar.
Help in Eating Right: Getting great nutrition without refined sugars and useless white flour: http://www.shakeology.com/leekirsten I am a coach, and I stand behind this amazing superfood. Also, I am a health coach and soon-to-be personal trainer. I invite you to my challenge groups held online monthly. Lee MacKenzie at Facebook. Or just contact me at email@example.com for more info. I run free or paid groups. You are welcome to find out more about either!
Please dive into the myriad of reasons that table sugar and refined carbs need to play a much more minimal role in our diets: For further reading:
I’ve been a re-dedicated low-carber since January of 2011 now. It’s been three years of mostly staying on the straight and narrow. At times, I have to retool and retrain myself, because I fall off the wagon , usually through slow little slips in the wrong direction over time. I have learned that I cannot eat more than 30 grams of net carbohydrate per day , even with working out, and lose weight. And, I cannot exceed 50 for more than a couple of days a week without gaining, and quickly. I get bored on my low-carb diet, and I am always on the lookout for low-carb substitutes to make it all more tolerable. Thanks to Viva Low-carb for coming to my rescue. I ordered some new things this time, and a few old favorites. A few of my selections were quite deliciously surprising!
Always a dream of mine- a good low-carb cookie. Nutritious Creations of Bay Shore, NY makes a delicious, giant oatmeal cookie that’s worth the 2.49 I paid for it, because it is a real cookie. At only 1 net gram of carbs, plenty of fiber, a nice soft chew, and great flavor, this is the only and best low-carb cookie I have ever tasted. Apparently it’s available also at http://www.snacksforlife.com . I have not been paid or comped for any of these reviews. I don’t mind giving raves and business to companies who are succeeding in supplying a market that is perhaps small, but persistent and growing. We are having a hard time finding anything in our home towns other than Atkins’ bars and diabetic, limited items full of fructose. Well, yay that fructose is natural, but it’s not low-carb, really, and makes me a giant bag of agonized gas… Anyway, A+ on the cookies.
Next on the A-listers is the Lily’s stevia sweetened dark chocolate. Great taste, texture, and flavor. It tasted like the real thing, and I highly enjoy the stevia as opposed to sucralose, which I am trying to ditch. By the way, the cookies I mentioned are sweetened with sucralose (Splenda), and while really tasty, more evidence is coming in that sucralose is not safe for long-term use, and may be causing its current users problems now.
Both brands of the low carb bagels are good, but I think the Healthwise brand edges out Great Low-carb bread company for softness, chew, and size.
The Dixie mix carrot muffins…well, my past experience with Dixie has not been great, at all- but I am giving them one last chance. Typically, their products leave a strange bitter aftertaste in my mouth.
I bought some great bread. It’s California Lifestyle Soy and Flax bread. I like it. $6.99, but only 1 gram per slice?! Outrageously nice bite, full of fiber and good grains. Sometimes, though not often, I want bread.
Proto-toast. A strange chocolate crisp bread, slightly sweet, that would make a good holder for cream cheese or butter or peanut/almond butter.
Hi-Low Cereal with strawberries. A true low-carb cereal, with only 7.4 net carb grams per half cup. I had a cup at least. Portion sizes could be a problem, here. I really wanted cereal. I got this collection today, and have already deeply sampled a lot of it. I probably blew the 30 grams thing since I already had 15 grams of carbs at breakfast with my fruit smoothie (Shakeology).
And there you have it, the product review! Head over to http://www.vivalowcarb.com and see what catches your eye. They’re running a discount code that I used and shipping was fast! RMN20, and you can find more at retailmenot.com Also, Low-Carb U has some interesting looking goodies at their site as well. Enjoy!
Well, you’ve probably heard that working out will cause you to lose weight. Not necessarily. There are a few other factors at play in the chemistry of the human body that determine weight loss. Let’s look at raw calories, for example. Let’s also consider metabolic rate of burn. Is it consistent for all, or does it vary with the individual? Ask any 6 ‘ 2″ super thin guy who never seems to stop eating, who can virtually eat anything he wants, and still have a hard time staying UP to weight if metabolisms differ. But, then again, I would wager that same guy is pretty darn active…
So, in my experience, and what I have heard for a long time now, is that diet is 70% of the component involved in weight loss. On the other hand, a casual Googling of that only yielded me the usual urban legend and ‘common knowledge’ type posts from individuals who have no sources to site for the presumption. But, let’s just say that’s true, for sake of argument.
I must say, I’ve lost no more than three pounds since starting my T-25 BeachBody workouts about five weeks ago, almost six. But, here’s the thing that nobody bothers to mention much. Diet alone does not do this to your body. On the top, prior to working out, with diet alone. In the purple shorts, 5 1/2 weeks later, after working out 5-6 days a week, you can see much more muscle definition and tone!
So, what does this mean? Should a person just stick to diet, or could working out also be a great benefit?! I think the results are clear, and in five MORE weeks, I should be able to show even more startling results, The funny part? My actual weight has barely changed. My actual tape measurements? I’ve perhaps lost an inch off my waist. What I see in the mirror, though, seems like more than just an inch. I am seeing shadows and lines and tone I have never had before. In the before, or upper picture, I have on the same type and size of shorts, just a different color. And I didn’t get a tan, that’s just a different room with dimmer light. However, the results are clear. In the above picture, I’d been doing my usual low-carb dieting, and running routine. All that running seemed to be doing for me is a great cardio workout. And I am ok with that. I still run about once a week, and will go back to it. But what I have found, is that strengthening muscle is hard work that pays more dividends than diet alone. In addition to strengthening my muscles, lungs, and the greatest muscle, my heart, I am also converting fat stores to muscle, and don’t feel like I need to hide my body. I will always have stretch marks and chicken skin ( so to speak) in my lowest ab section from becoming very large carrying my children in utero. I can live with that!! What I cannot live without anymore, until I am too old to worry about it, is the feeling of accomplishment and strength that I now have. My lower abs have been so weak all my life, and I never knew how to isolate them and work them out properly. No matter how much I lost, I still had that pooch that I despise. So, to answer all the questions. Can you lose more weight working out AND exercising? Maybe yes, and maybe no. It depends on the person. I know folks that tend to drop weight from just walking around the lake leisurely a few times per week. That’s not me. What you will lose is fat stores, which convert neatly into muscle. By the way, muscle takes more energy to maintain, so it might be that you will lose weight because you are burning more calories not only from your workout, but from simply existing. And that’s nice. :) Now, to work on that cellulite …
My name is Lee. I am a mom, writer, cashier, blogger, wedding officiant amateur wildlife advocate, voice-over artist wannabe, and a Beach Body Coach! I’ve learned a few things along my path, and I would love to help YOU reach your fitness goals! We’ve got a pretty great line up of workouts and clean-eating products and menus to get you on the right path. visit my facebook page at
Are you up for the challenge? Are you willing to trade instant fixes for hard work? Eating right 90% of the time and getting regular exercise IS the answer. Yes, I still follow low-carb, because that IS eating right! I might need more carb grams than I used to, but not many. I make sure to get plenty of protein and natural fats, water, and veggies!
You can message me or comment if you are ready to commit to being healthy. I can help!