Warmer weather is upon us and with that comes increased consumption of cold refreshing beverages. I have been enjoying iced cold brew coffee, frappuccinos, iced tea, and tea frappes. It sometimes gets too warm in my kitchen to really want to cook anything so experimenting with cold drink recipes lets me still feel creative without making myself a hot mess! Today my oldest daughter and I went on a nice long walk, well she walked and I rollerbladed for over 3 miles! I managed to not fall and break anything, quite impressed with myself. We were both hot when we got home so what is more refreshing than a nice cold frappuccino! So I set to work making us up a nice refreshing treat.
For this recipe you will need:
3/4 cups strong coffee(I use a strong cold brew concentrated)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream*
1-2 tbsp Monk Fruit or Erythritol sweetener(you can also use your favorite liquid sweetener instead if you want) to sweeten to your taste
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
Pinch of salt(optional)
1 large tbsp coconut oil
1- 1 1/2 cups ice
*For a dairy free option sub the heavy whipping cream out for full fat unsweetened canned coconut milk. This will change the carb and fat amount but not by too much.
Start by placing all ingredients, except ice, into the blender and blend on medium for 45-60 seconds until all ingredients are mixed up and the coconut oil is mixed in nicely.
After everything is mixed up nicely add the ice and blend again until all ice is blended in. Depending on the size of your cubes and how slushy you want will determine how much ice you will need. Better to start with less ice and add more if needed.
This makes roughly 3 cups, the amount of ice will determine your finished amount, and you can either drink it all yourself or be nice and share with your daughter! Top with some homemade coconut whipped cream for some added deliciousness and a little extra fat boost. Sometimes if I do not have any whipped cream made up I will sub out the HWC for some full fat coconut milk. This will change the macro count a little but not by much. Sprinkle a little more cinnamon on top and enjoy.
Nutrition facts per 8oz approx: Less than 1 g carb, less than 1 g protein, 14g fat
Dairy free option per 8oz approx: 1g carb, less than 1 g protein, 9g fat
It’s finally summer here in the frozen tundra and I have been having fun making various cold drinks. I have been enjoying iced coffee, coffee frappuccinos and tea frappes. I created one that is super yummy with a powdered Chai tea. After posting a picture on Facebook I had about 5 people message me for the recipe. I knew this must be the next recipe to go up on the blog. Of course this meant I had to make another one so I could take the pictures for the post and with that comes with having to drink it, Oh darn! 🙂 You too will want to make this again and again. It’s perfect for after dinner like a dessert or in the morning for a nice breakfast beverage. Packed with loads of healthy fats and only 2g of carbs!
What you will need:
4 oz unsweetened almond milk
2 oz heavy whipping cream*
2 oz full fat unsweetened coconut milk
1 heaping teaspoon Numi Turmeric Golden Chai
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp erythritol or favorite sugar substitute…I use Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener*
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1- 1 1/2 cups ice
*If you need dairy free omit the heavy whipping cream, increase the almond milk to 5 oz and coconut milk to 3 oz. Adjust sweetener amount to taste.
Add all ingredients except the ice into your blender. I use a full blender, however a single serve like a magic bullet would work fine too as long as it can crush ice. If there is one thing I would recommend investing in is a high quality blender. Blend on medium for about a minute. I like to blend before adding the ice to get the coconut oil all mixed up. Skipping this step makes the coconut oil get cold and hard and clumpy.
Now add the ice. I use about 1 1/2 cups of ice cubes however depending on the size or your cubes you may want to decrease or increase amount. I blend on the smoothie setting so it shuts off automatically, main thing is to blend until all the ice is incorporated into the frappe.
Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy. An optional but very delicious step is to add a dollop of coconut whipped cream or other pure whipped cream. Mine started sinking before I could get the picture taken. Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon and enjoy.
Nutrition: 2g net carbs, 44g fat, 1g protein Any changes made will alter the nutritional facts.
In an effort to reach more people and impact more lives with the low carb life and NeoLife we decided to do a series of testimony interviews a couple times a month with people who have been impacted from Shari’s Low Carb Kitchen and/or NeoLife. Originally we were going to do this testimony last Wednesday, however Facebook was having global issues and I wanted to share it as a FB Live video. The rest of the week did not work do to the holiday and then the weekend so we settled on Tuesday evening. After much craziness with technical issues I finally decided I would just have to do the interview via my phone instead of my computer, it still turned out great for a first time ever doing this, and Maggie is simply amazing. Please do excuse my makeup, it had been a long day and I took a couple of my girls to the pool in the heat. I totally forgot to check it before going live. But hey, I have 8 kids, a business and a blog so even having a bad makeup day is a good day for me….just keeping it real!
For our first interview I had the pleasure and honor of interviewing Ms Maggie Lee. Maggie is a former army veteran, and we thank her for her service, as well as a breast cancer survivor. She recently started eating LCHHF in May of 2019 and recently took her carb macros closer to a keto range or less than 20 grams per day. Maggie is a member of our Low Carb Kitchen facebook group and loves the support there. She was one of the members that did the Diet Doctor 2 week challenge with us which really helped her see how easy this way of life can be. I chose Maggie as my first testimony because of the huge transformation I had seen in her in such a short time! She also had recently had a doctor appointment with labs and the whole bit and had such positive results from that as well.
This was such a fun interview to do and Maggie is candid and holds nothing back. Come enjoy hearing her transformation and seeing the glow and energy that is radiating from her.
If you’d like to know more about being featured in a Testimony Tuesday section please shoot me an email. If you’d like more information on the 2 week challenge visit the Diet Doctor website challenge page.
Everyone loves a great cheeseburger! What is better than a great burger? A bacon burger bowl with whatever fixings you want in it. A dear friend of mine, Laura, posted in our Facebook group her daughter making burger bowls. This gave me some inspiration to create a recipe and blog about it. It was a hit with my kids and Mr. Low Carb. ‘Lil’ Miss Low Carb came into the kitchen and said, “Mama, this is so filling!” and it is the truth, SO FILLING! Continue reading “Bacon Burger Bowls”→
We read labels on everything we buy. Our bath products, makeup, toothpaste, clothing, and so on. However do we really read the labels on the things that matter the most, on our foods? If so do we really understand what we’re reading? If we are trying to avoid sugars and hidden carbs if can be like walking through a landmine to find products without these hidden sugars.
There are many different types of sugar and in those types of sugars many different names. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc. Here is a list of some of the names sugars can be hidden under, some better than others.
As you’re shopping reading labels is a must. These hidden sugars are in everything including so called low carb products. Maltodextrin and Dextrose are the most frequently hidden sugars in bullion cubes, seasonings, and even low carb items. Reading labels is an absolute must.
So what about sugar substitutes? There is a slew of various sugar subs all boasting zero calorie, doesn’t affect blood sugar, etc. Some are made from the laboratory and some come from plants. Some are ok and some you need to run far away from. What many of these do not tell you is even though they may not affect blood sugar they still increase insulin response as well, cause weight gain and a slew of other health problems. Aspartame is one of these to run away from. Sucralose is a step below Aspartame. So do you never get a sweet treat again? Not necessarily. There are some safe plant based ones such as Stevia, Monk Fruit and Erythritol. These have their pros and cons as well, such as stevia having aftertastes when used in large amounts. Just because the package says Stevia it’s still imperative to read the labels.
Here is a picture of a Stevia from a local grocery store. On the front of the package it just says Stevia, however if you look at the nutrition label you will see it’s Maltodextrin first and Stevia second so more Maltodextrin than stevia. Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide, which is a type of carbohydrate which spikes insulin. It is higher on the glycemic index than table sugar, ranging from 106-136 and table sugar is 65! It may cause blood sugar spikes which is dangerous for people with metabolic disorders such as diabetes, the exact people these types of products are being sold to! Easily absorbed carbohydrates like maltodextrin and sugar get into your bloodstream quickly, and if the carbs aren’t used for energy, they’re stored as fat. There is also evidence linked with consumption of polysaccharides, such as maltodextrin, and increased incidence of Crohn’s disease. So watch those labels.
Now what about something like Stevia in the raw, that should be ok, right? Well look at the label. Here are 3 different types of Stevia in the Raw and each one has hidden sugars in it. I would stay far away from Stevia in the Raw.
So what then can we use for sweeteners if we choose to occasionally have some? I haven’t found a Stevia in bulk that doesn’t have a bulking agent such as a maltodextrin. For baking I choose to use Lakanto Monk Fruit which is an Erythritol Monk Fruit Blend and doesn’t affect blood sugar or insulin as it’s mostly sugar alcohol that isn’t metabolized or digested. I will also use Swerve products which are primarily Erythritol and sometimes just straight Erythritol. A note on Erythritol, while it is not metabolized or digested it does primarily come from corn fiber so be sure to get one that is labeled either not from corn or from non-gmo corn. This is the only product I will ever use that comes from corn.
The liquid stevia is primarily used for beverages, though sometimes used in recipes in very small quantities to avoid an aftertaste. Sweetleaf Drops are the only ones we have found to be potent so you only need a little, organic, and doesn’t seem to leave a nasty aftertaste. The plastic bottle ones unfortunately switched the formulation to include vegetable glycerin which is disappointing to me. I did speak to the CEO of Sweet Leaf shortly after they changed the formula and she said no one seemed to mind the change and it didn’t affect the taste. Unfortunately we feel it did affect the taste and so use it very sparingly and typically only the Lemon Lime. We primarily use the glass bottle ones as they do not contain the VG, though they don’t have as many fruit flavors. The plastic bottle is still a better choice than others out there so we make do. Perhaps if enough people complained they would change it back. The Monk Fruit comes in plain as well as some flavors, not as many as Sweet Leaf but a few different ones. The french vanilla is really good with coffee. The bagged sweeteners are used in baking. The Whole Earth packets are a blend of stevia and monk fruit and are super easy to carry in my purse for that iced tea when I go out. I prefer water, however most water around here is chlorinated and I can’t stomach the taste so I end up with unsweetened iced tea for which I bring my own sweetener.
Now the real question is should you use sweeteners at all? I think that is a personal choice for every person. You will hear conflicting information out there if you search it out. Some will say even these plant based sweeteners illicit insulin response, some will say it doesn’t, some say they can use them and stay in ketosis and some will say it kicks them out of ketosis. I cannot confirm the validity of any of those claims. I do not test for ketones, though I can tell when I am in ketosis and haven’t found these to affect me one way or the other. Here’s what I do know, we are too conditioned to need sweet things. Our taste buds love sweets and we need to train them otherwise. That’s the nice thing about these sweeteners is you can slowly back down the amounts you use until you’re just using a little bit. I use the liquid almost daily in my tea and sparkling water, however it’s only a little bit. It hasn’t slowed my progress at all. If it does end up doing so I will cut it out completely to see if it makes a difference. I don’t do many keto treats, we make a dessert for special occasions and that’s perfect for us. My kids would rather have an apple and peanut butter for dessert. If you have a sugar addiction and sweeteners are a trigger then you may not want to use any, at least not for a long while, but if you don’t then a little here and there will not cause issues…in my opinion. Just make sure you read those labels.
I am going to be honest, when I first heard about “keto” from friends it kind of freaked me out. The reason is because they were just using it as a quick weight loss fix, avoiding protein, drinking weird oils and just over all doing really weird things. I heard the word ketones and being married to a long time type 1 diabetic we had always been told ketones were a bad thing. Keeping carbs under 20 grams a day and what the heck with the low to no fruit! How in the world could that even be remotely healthy? I am the first to say I found it down right dangerous! That is before I really started researching science and information from reputable doctors and scientists, ones that are experts in this field and have no conflict of interests in trying to sell me keto products. I am a firm believer in food, and food derived supplements, for taking care of our bodies. The first book I read, at the prompting of a dear friend that had great success, is The Obesity Code from Dr. Jason Fung and my mind was blown! I highly recommend reading it.
This lead to more researching and devouring everything reputable thing I could get my hands on. You can check out my blog post, “A Little Light Reading” for more books I recommend. I knew I had found my answer. I had found the answer to why Mr. Low Carb had such trouble losing weight and why after I had lost a lot of weight and clothes sizes in 2017 with a plateau in 2018 it all came back and then some toward the end of 2018. Still I questioned if this was for us, but we decided to give it a try. I am so glad we made that decision. I will share some recent pictures, not to toot my own horn, but to hopefully encourage others that this way of life could be for you too. The major changes are from Dec of 2018 to May 31st 2019.
These changes came from LCHF, not even super strict, Fasting and great nutritional supplementation with the best whole food derived nutrients from NeoLife. I can still have my nutrients from fruit without all the sugar thanks to my NeoLife! If I can make these changes anyone can! Mr. Low Carb is doing really well too, though he doesn’t let me take his picture! For the next 2 1/2 weeks I am being really strict with my eating, eating clean keto, fasting and my supplements as our 22 year wedding anniversary is coming up and I have some more toning I want to do. I have decided to do the Diet Doctor 2 week challenge and if you’re interested in more information about that check out this post: Let’s get our challenge on! I hope this inspires you to take control of your health future and implement your new lifestyle changes today. You don’t have to do everything perfect. Remember, Progress not Perfection!
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, I need to make a change in the way I eat but I have no clue where to start!” Have you been researching ketogenic low carb diets and after researching are more confused than when you started? Do you think it’s too elaborate or just a quick fix? You hear all these strange words, like Macronutrient and Micronutrient and your brain fogs and eyes glaze over as you quickly try to google what these terms mean. I totally understand all these questions. What if you could have a meal plan all laid out so you could see just how simple it can be and you could try for 2 weeks and then continue from there?
One of my favorite websites has a 2 week challenge all set up with menus and everything! Shari’s Low Carb Kitchen has a Facebook Group and a few of us have decided to do the challenge together as a group. If you are not a member and would like to become one please ask to join. We are starting this Monday, June 3rd 2019. The best part is it’s free! You don’t have to do it on Monday with us, just do it when you’re ready but it is a great thing to do.
To get started just go to the Diet Doctor website link to sign up.
I highly recommend watching the video that talks about the challenge. You have to scroll down to the video.
After the video scroll down and enter your email. You will receive an email for confirmation that it was indeed you that signed up.
You will receive emails with the menus, shopping lists, etc to help you for the weeks. Once you’re signed up scroll down and get a glimpse of what you will be eating. If you don’t care for one of the meals simply sub it out with another one of the hundreds of recipes on the site, just try to keep the carb amount similar as it’s meant to give you the total daily amounts. These amounts are for keto, which is much lower in carbs, vs LCHF which can be a little more in carbs. If you need a little more in carbs just sub out with the LCHF recipes from the website. If you’re not hungry for a meal, like breakfast then don’t eat it. It’s that simple.
If you continue to scroll down you can watch a video with success stories from others who have done the challenge
Last but not least you can read through the FAQs when you scroll down a little further.
Once you’re all signed up you can see various links including the menu, other recipes, etc by going here.
Some tips of my own would be to take measurements, beginning pictures, a log of any changes you feel during the week. You will shed water weight so be sure to keep your water intake up as well as salt intake. Read through some areas of the site for more information as well, they have loads of great tips. Take a pic and measurements at the end of the 2 weeks. Everyone will have different results as our bodies will all heal at different rates, this will give you a very good start though. I can’t wait to hear your results! Remember, this is not a quick fix diet or a weight loss diet, weight loss is a lovely secondary effect, this is a LIFESTYLE change that you will want to continue with for life. The challenge is a great way to get you started and take the perceived difficulty out of this way of life.
Recently a dear friend of mine mentioned that she was doing low carb meals as the budget allowed for and asked if there was such a thing of budget friendly low carb meals. This got me thinking that if my friend thinks this way of life is not budget friendly then I am sure many other people do as well and it may deter them from this healthier way of life. So to my keyboard I sprung to give a few tips on keeping this budget friendly.
Here we are at another holiday weekend. This weekend is extra special, not only because of remember the fallen soldiers, but also because it was my baby’s, Lil’Miss Low Carb, first Holy Communion!
Holidays and special occasions are typically surrounded by friends, family, food and celebrating…did I mention food? This can also bring with it a set of challenges for those that do not want to be derailed from this Way of Eating(WOE) as not all that food we find at parties is LCHHF friendly, in fact some of it can be down right harmful especially for those trying to reverse insulin resistance or other metabolic issues. So how can we be proactive in these situations? Can we maybe have a non low carb treat and not get too derailed? Possibly, each person is different. Let’s explore things we can do to keep us as close to on the path as possible. Remember, if you do have a cheat please don’t beat yourself up! This is a way of life, not a punishment and if you beat yourself up over choosing to have a treat you will not be happy on this WOL! You fit this into your life, not your life into this WOE. Remember, progress not perfection! Now let’s explore tips that have helped Mr. Low Carb and I through several holidays and get togethers.
Tip #1: I like to have a lot of recipes on hand that are easy to make for larger groups to take with if we are going somewhere. These are also budget friendly, which is very important.
Tip #2: If we are going somewhere I know there will not be much else we can eat other than what we bring we will eat a bit of nice fatty things before we go and just eat very light at the party. A good example of this is Thanksgiving. Turkey is the main dish and while it is low carb it does not have the fat to go with it. We can add some butter to it, but to remain satiated we still need more. Granted we have the one or two dishes we bring, but pretty much everything is always potatoes, jellos, buns, gravy with flour in it. So having some things at home before we go really helps.
Tip #3: There may be things there that while not exclusively in our way of eating that we want to have a little of. We eat these things last. If you eat the lower carb items first you will be less likely to binge on something else and will stick to having just a little.
Tip #4: If you do have the treat drink water, water, water to help flush out fluid build up. Carbs are notorious for causing water weight and bloating.
Today Shari’s Low Carb Kitchen was hopping with company for our very special occasion. When we have company over, like in a big party, we try to be mindful that not everyone eats LCHHF or is even interested in it. Any of the main dishes we make will be in accordance with our WOE, but we will provide little extras like buns. It’s not our wish to push this on anyone, we want to set the example and give information when asked but I will not shove on anyone. By getting a pack of buns it gives others the option and not to feel like they are the odd guy out. Here are some pictures from today’s party so you can kind of see how we do this.
Today’s Visitors to Shari’s Low Carb Kitchen. They got to see where all the magic happens! HAHA
Thank you for sharing in our very special weekend and I hope that any of these tips may help you for social gatherings. So far Mr. Low Carb and I have made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, Mother’s day, birthday parties and a couple other get togethers and remained pretty much on track! You can do it too. Just remember, PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION. Have a Safe rest of your holiday weekend and Thank you again to all our service men and women.
While we are celebrating this weekend lets always remember why we have this weekend and remember and pray for all those brave men and women and their families who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can live free with our families. Both Mr. Low Carb and my families have had many members that served in the military for our freedoms and even served in some war we are thankful to not have lost any loved ones to the wars. Our hearts and prayers are with all of those that have lost loved ones for our freedoms. We will never forget.