Burger and fries.


I love a burger and fries. It’s one of my favorite guilty treats. I found a great way to have the burger and fries with half of the guilt though!

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I found these great chicken burgers from weight watchers. 140 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 25 grams of protein. Along with the burgers I picked up a bag of these fries which are 100 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. You could serve your burger on lettuce, plain, or even a whole wheat roll if you like. If you are feeling crazy add a slice of turkey bacon! Sautéed mushrooms, jalapeños, onions. All of those would go great! See you later five guys!

Hard boiled eggs made simple.


A friend shared this tip with me yesterday. Use a steamer basket to make your hard boiled eggs! 12 minutes is all it takes. So get a pan of boiling water, add your steamer basket with eggs (I did 7 or 8) and cover for 12 minutes. Immediately after, soak eggs in a super ice cold bath. This makes peeling so easy! It only took me a few minutes to peel these bad boys. The taste? Amazing. Soft bright yellow yolk. Not too soft. Not too hard. Just perfect. So easy!

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Pizza Omelet.


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This was fun! I took one egg, and 1/4 cup of eggwhites and beat them together. I added some garlic powder and oregano as well.

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook egg mixture on top of stove like you would a normal omelet. Do not flip it though. Just cook it through until the egg patty for the “Crust” is solid enough to transfer.

Carefully transfer egg patty to a non stick bake sheet. Add toppings. I added–

2 tbsp of sauce or use marina, a few turkey pepperoni, and 1/4 cup of mozzarella.

I baked it for about 5 minutes until cheese was melted. Around 230 calories.

 

Perky Jerky Review.


I am always looking out for protein snacks for on the go. I recently got a chance to try Perky Jerky and had to share it with my readers.

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Perky Jerky is all natural, gluten-free, with no preservatives, and no nitrates. It’s literally the softest jerky I have ever tried. They marinate it overnight to make it extra tender. They have a ton of flavors and come in turkey or beef varieties.

I was mostly impressed with the nutrition. Each ounce of jerky has at least 10 grams of protein, is low fat, low sodium, and 60-80 calories. I tried the sweet and spicy turkey first and wow. It’s savory, sweet, and SO soft. I ate the whole bag. It’s addictive!

The beef jerky was also good. I recommend the teriyaki.

Since I am on Nutrisystem, 1 oz of jerky is equal to one powerfuel for me. It’s great for on the go! After I ran through my two sample bags I ordered 5 more bags! There is a special on their website right now if you buy 4 bags you get the fifth one free. Or you can try all 8 flavors for 29 dollars.

For more information you can check Perky Jerky out here.

Perky Jerky Link

10/10 product review. There isn’t one bad thing I can say about this awesome product. Give it a try! I promise you won’t regret it!

Arctic Zero. A low calorie Dessert.


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I recently got the opportunity to try Arctic Zero. A low calorie dessert. They have a  few different products ranging from pints of dessert to frozen dessert bars. Arctic Zero is naturally sweetened with a proprietary blend of monk fruit concentrate and organic cane sugar.

As I have recently started a low carb diet, I have been DYING for something sweet. I was so shocked to find out a serving of this desert is only 4 carbs. 4 of them! Totally doable! And you can eat the entire pint and only be out 150 calories with 0 grams of fat.

Okay this sounds to good to be true right? I know. That is what I thought. I anxiously awaited for my samples to arrive.

This is what I received.

  •  1 pint of chocolate
  • 1 pint of maple vanilla
  • 1 pint of cookies and cream
  • 1 pint of strawberry
  • 1 pint of mint chocolate
  • 1 pint of chocolate peanut butter
  • 1 pint of coffee
  • 1 box of strawberry and orange chocolate dipped bars
  • 1 box of vanilla and chocolate dipped in chocolate bars

Holy desert! Here are my honest opinions of each flavor.

Chocolate. 9.5/10.Chocolate-350x375

This is a winner. The flavor was right on. I made my husband a chocolate milkshake with this flavor and he was hooked. If you are a chocolate fan this is for you. A tip. Leave Arctic Zero on your counter for about 10 minutes before you start to eat it. It softens up and it gets the best texture. You can eat it straight out of the freezer but it might hurt your teeth! It kind of reminds me of a sorbet. It needs to soften.

Maple Vanilla. 9/10.Vanilla-350x375

I am a true fan of vanilla. I wasn’t sure how the maple part of this desert would play out but I was certainly delighted. Sweet but not overly sweet, and perfect with a handful of chopped macadamia nuts had my mouth singing.

Coffee. 9/10.Coffee-350x375

Another winner! Creamy and great coffee flavor. This is a great palate cleanser.

Strawberry- 8.5/10.Strawberry-350x375

My husband devoured this flavor. He said it was his favorite of the bunch. A nice strawberry flavor that tasted real and not artificial.

Mint Chocolate- 8.5/10.MintChocolate-350x375

I love mint chocolate! It’s my favorite. I could eat this dessert every single day. The mint flavor isn’t overpowering, and the chocolate is nice and light. Will keep this in the freezer for sure.

Cookies and Cream- 7.5/10.CookiesCream-350x375

Good texture, good flavor. This would make a great milkshake as well.

Peanut butter chocolate- 7/10. ChocolatePeanutButter-350x375

This was my least favorite. I was expecting more peanut butter!

The bars. 8/10.bars1 bars2

The fruit flavors are my favorite. Orange arctic zero covered in dark chocolate? Total home run. The other bars were good as well.

You can purchase Arctic Zero at your local grocery store. If they do not carry it, you can always ask the store manager to start!

At 150 calories a pint, 0 fat, low carbs, I would say this product is totally worth your time. It even has PROTEIN in it. It’s a no brainer. A great treat for those trying to watch their weight or live a healthier lifestyle.

You can visit their website here

http://www.arcticzero.com/

Getting started on a low-carb diet.


I have had a ton of questions concerning the low-carb lifestyle and how to get started. Keep in mind I am not a doctor, and I am not a professional low-carber, but I will share with you what I have learned so far.

Before you start this lifestyle you need to do a few things.

1. You must research ketosis. This is SO important to understanding how and why low carbing works. Here is a great link.

Everything you need to know about Ketosis here. 

2. This is optional, but I strongly suggest buying some ketosis strips to test your ketones level. If you read the above link you will understand what I am talking about. You can buy ketone testing kits at any pharmacy. They cost about 10 dollars for 50 strips. You will not need to test right away, so they are not totally urgent. I waited 5 days after I started before testing.

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3. Now we need to read about the induction phase. The link below will let you know everything to get started. Induction lasts for two weeks or longer depending on how you decide to go about your weight loss. Staying in induction for super long periods of time is not healthy for your kidneys. You must decide when is right for you to move on to the next phase. Read the link below.

Induction

4. Clean out all the grains and carb loaded products you have hiding in your kitchen. Give them to a friend, throw them away, or just put them out of eyesight.

5. Head to the grocery store. Read labels. Look for meat on sale that you can freeze. For cheese, pick blocks of cheese instead of shredded cheese in bags. Block cheese has 0 carbs and shredded cheese usually has 1. When you only have 20 grams a day, these choices add up.  To find out what you can eat, read this.

What you can eat in Phase 1.

Here are a few suggestions from my grocery list-

Eggs, Bacon, Sausage (in a tube not premade), block cheeses, cream cheese, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, chicken breasts, chicken tenderloins, center cut pork loins, ground turkey, ground hamburger, leaner cuts of steak like filet, bacon, canadian bacon, all lettuces, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes, cauliflower, whipping cream, shrimp, fish.

6. The morning that you start the low carb plan, WEIGH YOURSELF. I made the mistake of waiting four days so I have no idea how much weight I lost in that time period. If you want to be even more hardcore, do your measurements.

Now you are set. You know how much you weigh. You have your low-carb food. You have your ketosis testing kit. Now you do your job. You eat. You stay under 20 net carbs a day.

Net carbs? Yes those. Basically dietary fiber is not counted towards your final carb count. Example. Say you have a cup of spinach and that has 4 carbs. Well look at the dietary fiber. Pretend that it’s 2 grams. You then take the total carb count (4) and subtract the dietary fiber (2) for your total net carbs. So instead of thinking you ate 4 carbs, in reality you only ate 2. You will get a hang of it. PS- You can also subtract sugar alcohols as well the same way you do with dietary fiber.

Keep track of your carbs in a notebook, on your phone or computer, or use a program like my fitness pal to see how many carbs you are at. Do not go over 20!

It’s really important to get your body into ketosis, so if you are going to do this do it right. Stay away from pasta, donuts, rice, fries, sugar etc. One slip up won’t kill you, but it will throw you off track.

Weigh in as frequently you want. I weigh every few days, but test my ketones levels almost every single day. Find what works for you.

What you can expect- Headaches, upset tummy, weird poops, (sorry there isn’t a really elegant way to type that), and over all yuckyness. HANG IN THERE. This only lasts a few days. Your body will adjust and it will start burning fat in no time.

Tips- There are a ton of low-carb recipes around the web. Start reading. Get ideas. Make a pinterest board of recipes you want to make. Here is mine-

Pinterest Low Carb Board.

If you have a sweet tooth find some sugar free candy that you like for when those cravings hit. I like to make fresh whipped cream on those nights I want something sweet.

For sweeteners I use Truvia or Stevia. I feel like it’s the most natural sugar replacement out there.

Take it easy on the bacon and sausage. Just because we can have these items, doesn’t mean we can eat them at every single meal in unlimited amounts. Moderation! I try to stick to 4 oz of meats three times a day, and no more than 4 oz of cheese a day. Add in your veggies and healthy fats and you will be good to go.

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I have had great success so far. I plan to stay in the induction phase for a few months to come. Good luck on your low carb journey. I hope some of this helps.

Food Ideas-

Bacon Donuts/fritters. Seriously.


baconI found this recipe and had to try it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tErB92jXccE

BACON DONUTS?!!?! I know right. This is a low carber’s dream.

Stats – 320 calories, 26 grams of fat, 2.4 carbs, 0.3 fiber, 21.3 protein.

This is not an every single day recipe. Perfect for a special breakfast or if you are just craving a damn donut! No guilt.

So what you need for 2 servings-

  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • 2 or 3 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil
  • 3-4 slices of bacon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3rd cup of vanilla or plain whey protein
  • 1 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 small mini bell peppers

 

  1. Precook bacon in a non stick pan. This is very important. You do not want to use a non stick pan. My first batch stuck right to the bottom in a regular pan!
  2. Melt butter on stovetop or in microwave.
  3.  After bacon is drained and cooled, chop into small pieces.
  4. Chop peppers into mini pieces.
  5. Add chopped bacon, peppers, melted butter, 1 egg, 1/3rd cup of vanilla protein powder (or plain), and sharp cheddar cheese to bowl.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Heat the coconut or olive oil in your pan on medium high heat.
  8. Spoon mixture gently into oil. It should sizzle. If it’s too hot it will pop, be careful and adjust your temperature.
  9. Spoon oil over top of donut while it’s cooking.
  10. Once the bottom starts turning golden brown, GENTLY flip it over with a metal spatula.
  11. Cook for another few minutes until other side is golden brown.
  12. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.
  13. Repeat!

That’s it. You can make 6 mini donuts, or 4 large fritter/donuts. To make it sweet you could add a bit of sugar free syrup and a little butter. OR keep it savory and add some sour cream and salsa.

I was really impressed with these little donuts. They have that great fritter taste, bacon bits, sweet, and savory all at once. Try this for sure!!

 

Shrimp Scampi. Low carb.


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For 4 servings-

  • 1 lb of shrimp deveined and no tails
  • 1/2 of the juice from a lemon
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 4 or 5 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley (dried is fine if fresh is unavailable)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  1. Clean all shrimp. Remove tails and devein them.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a pan on medium heat.
  3. Once it’s melted, add in the wine, parsley, garlic, sea salt, pepper, chili flakes, and lemon.
  4. Bring to a quick boil and after that happens turn back to a simmer.
  5. Simmer wine mixture for 3-5 minutes.
  6. After that add pink to pan. Cook for about 5 minutes or until pink. Make sure you get both sides of the shrimp cooked. Don’t overcook or they will be rubbery!
  7. Serve immediately.

This is great. Super simple. 1 net gram of carb per serving.

Crustless Quiche. Low carb and easy!


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Quiche!
What you need-

  • 5 eggs
  • 6 oz of fresh spinach cut into ribbons
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp of chopped onions
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2.5 cups cheese of choice
  • optional- a few ounces of cooked meat like sausage, bacon, ham. I would precook it before adding to quiche.
  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Grease a pie pan.
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. Add to pie pan.
  5. Cook for 25-30 minutes until it turns golden brown.

1.5-3 carbs per serving depending on what you use  DELISH. Tons of leftovers. Perfect for on the go.

My new low carb life.


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Okay blog. My bad. I have totally neglected you. I think I forgot to tell all of my beautiful readers that I have officially made the switch over to the dark side. The low carb lifestyle. For me it’s NOT a diet. It will be a lifestyle. I know that if I go back to breads, sugars, pasta, crap that I will gain back all of the weight. I know all of the risks. I know that my body holds on to carbs like it’s a ten carat diamond. Seriously I can look at pasta and gain 10 pounds.

Why did I decide to go low carb? Simple. Lots of people get results. I decided that with my half marathon coming up that I really needed to shed a few extra pounds to be race ready. I worked my ass off and didn’t lose any weight. I mean a straight perfect month and I GAINED 2 pounds. Muscle? Whatever it still stung. I started low carbing 8 days ago and I swear I have never felt so satisfied in my life. I am eating foods I could have NEVER ate on my regular plan.  I am still getting tons of veggies in, and I don’t have to worry about protein, fat, calories, etc. All I have to do is figure out my carbs. It’s so simple.

I am a savory person so this low carbing thing has been SUPER easy for me. I have stuck to under 20 grams of carbs for the past week. I have one more week of 20 carbs or less in the induction phase. After that I will bump it up to 25 etc etc.

I didn’t even weigh myself at the beginning of this process ( I know so stupid). In 4 days though  I have lost 6.6 pounds. My body is producing ketones and I am feeling good. When I first started I will be honest I did have some upset stomach issues and headaches. All is well now and I will continue on my low carb path.

This isn’t for everyone! It’s really working for me though and I love it. My husband is doing it with me as well.

Sorry I didn’t let you guys in on my new lifestyle. I promise there will be tons of new low carb recipes, and for you non low carbers a ton of other stuff. I want us all to be able to support each other no matter what kind of food we are eating!

Have a wonderful day and holiday weekend! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

PS- I post most of my meals on instagram  here- http://instagram.com/gracegothealthy

or on my facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/Gracegothealthy?ref=hl