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

My Thanksgiving Menu. Low Carb with recipes.


My husband and I are very untraditional people when it comes to celebrating the holidays. We like to do things differently. For the first 8 years of our relationship we didn’t even put up a Christmas tree! It’s no surprise that our Thanksgiving every single year is totally different. Since we have been on our low carb journey we decided to keep with that theme for our big meal on Thursday. Here is my menu.

Roasted whole chicken. I do not feel like making a huge turkey this year since it’s only the two of us. I will roast the chicken with just some garlic, ginger, lemon, onions, and extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage on the skin. 598780_289500597817808_315182398_n

Cauliflower cheesy rice but this time loaded with ranch, bacon pieces, and cheddar cheese.dsc00628

Here is the original recipe-  https://gracegothealthy.com/2013/07/12/cheesy-cauliflower-rice/

Steamed green beans. I love how simple and sweet they taste.

Deviled eggs. I don’t have a recipe for these. I just wing them.

Jalapeno Poppers. I will be following this recipe-

http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/stuffed-jalapeno-appetizer-recipe.html

Caprese salad. So simple. Just fresh tomato, mozzarella, and basil all layered and stacked topped with extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

The dessert I chose is to honor my husband. He loves peanut butter cups so we are going to have these-

http://dessert.food.com/recipe/low-carb-peanut-butter-cups-120053

 

That’s it! I am excited because we will be able to eat lots of yummy foods and still stay in ketosis land 🙂

Low carb has been working out really well for us so far! Onward.

What are you serving your family for Thanksgiving? Are you bringing a famous dish to a party? Let me know!

 

Salmon bites.


This is a great low carb snack!

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All you need is cream cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber.

Slice cucumber, add a dollop of cream cheese, top with salmon. Simple!

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Buffalo Chicken Bake. Done Naturally!




Thank you to NatureRaised® Foods for sponsoring this article.  Learn how NatureRaised® Foods is “Doing What’s Right, Right from the Start™” in your area.

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When living a healthy lifestyle it is important to eat food that will fuel your body. I like to make a quick and simple chicken dish for dinner at least once or twice a week.  Chicken is so versatile. There are so many ways that you can prepare it. I like chicken because it’s a high protein, low fat option for me. With that being said, I am very picky about what kind of chicken I use. With so many options out there, it’s difficult to know exactly what to choose.

I recently have had the opportunity to work with a company called NatureRaised Foods. They believe in doing things the natural way. Their products have a strict standard. They are committed to treating animals humanely. No antibiotics are added EVER! Also, hormones and steroids are never used. The chickens are fed a 100% vegetarian diet. This means no animal by-product or other gross by-products. As I checked out their story http://www.natureraisedfarms.com/, I immediately felt like this was a company who cares about what we are eating. Their website is full of information and recipes, but most importantly you are introduced to their farmers. These people are working hard to make sure you get the quality chicken you and your family deserve! After my research I decided to try out the product. It needs to taste good right? I found the brand at my local Publix. It is available in your local grocery stores, and also at the big supermarkets such as Wal-Mart®. You don’t have to go all the way to a fancy place like Whole Foods® to get “better for you” chicken. I decided to use the NatureRaised Farms® brand chicken to make my famous Buffalo Chicken Bake. This is the perfect healthy recipe to make for the football season. Everyone loves buffalo wings. Why not make a healthier version for everyone? Why we are at it, how about making a more natural dish as well! Win.

Buffalo Chicken Bake

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 4 NatureRaised Farms® brand chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup cheese of choice
  • 4 tbsp of your favorite hot sauce
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Dipping sauce of choice

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Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces.
  3. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Put chicken into a mixing bowl.
  5. Add 4 tablespoons of buffalo/hot sauce to chicken.
  6. Place chicken into an oven safe dish. I used my glass 8X8.
  7. Add cheese on top. Add breadcrumbs on top of cheese.
  8. Bake in oven for about twenty minutes. Turn broiler on low and let breadcrumbs brown and cheese melt for a few more minutes if you like.
  9. Serve with a salad or anything green for the perfect balanced meal.

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Nutritional Statistics- 276 calories, 10 carbs, 11 grams of fat, and 33 grams of protein.

The bake turned out moist and tasty. This is a product that I feel confident feeding my family regularly. The price was really decent and affordable. I think it’s really important that we all know what is going into our mouths. Thank you NatureRaised Farms® brand chicken for allowing me to worry a lot less about what I am feeding my family!

Thank you NatureRaised Foods and Technorati for being sponsors of this article. As always all opinions expressed here are my own.

 

Weekend Roundup.


Hi lovelies! I hope this Monday is treating you well. We had a great weekend over here. I got all my training in, the house cleaned, the house stocked up with yummy healthy food, and I got in the most awesome fishing trip!

20131014-122833.jpgSeafood purchase= 2 lbs of large Key West pink shrimp, 2 filets of Mahi, 1 lb of wild salmon, 2 yellowfin tuna filets.

20131014-122852.jpgI saw these notebooks on sale for 49 cents and HAD to have them. I especially love the red and white chevron print. I have been obsessively keeping a food journal. Bite it, WRITE IT! Now I am stocked up til winter 😀

20131014-122904.jpgThis was some of the view I had fishing out in Big Pine Channel.

20131014-123020.jpgTime to come in. Booo!

20131014-123030.jpgOne more 🙂

20131014-123043.jpgSnappers!

20131014-123103.jpgThe biggest porgy fish ever! I was cleaning and fileting fish for two hours. We ended up with 2 lbs.

20131014-123129.jpgMy handsome man. Kingsley.

20131014-123142.jpg3 mile walk today. My legs were killing me! I had a 15 minute mile pace though so I will take it.

20131014-123205.jpgand 5 miles on Saturday. It was HOT!

 

I have been eating meals from diet to go this week. They were nice enough to send me a week of meals for review. Those end tomorrow though and so I hope to throw up some recipes for you guys. I know for sure I am making shrimp feta salad on Wednesday. Mmm 🙂

Hope you all are well!

Chat soon loves.

 

G

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Smoothie


My first pumpkin of the year. Uhm it was amazing!

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What you need-
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup milk of choice
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Allspice
Or pumpkin pie spice instead
2 sweeteners packages of choice
4 oz of plain greek yogurt
1 oz of cream cheese of choice ff,
1/3rd whatever.
1 cup or so of ice depending how icy you like it.

Add all ingredients. Play with the spices, I don’t measure. Usually just a bit of nutmeg and allspice plus a ton of cinnamon.

Blend and enjoy! So good 🙂

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