Some Thoughts

imageI’ve been watching this show recently (don’t judge me!) and find it to be fascinating on many levels.

First, this is true-life human drama. Will the “star” of this episode make it? Will they find support or sabotage from their loved ones? Will they suffer dire consequences following surgery?  I find myself having several emotions during a 60-minute episode ranging from compassion, unbelief, anger, hope, annoyance, etc., and that makes for good television I reckon.

Second, from the perspective of a healthcare provider this interests me because it’s not Gray’s Anatomy or any other of those medical-type shows that make it seem that love and sexual encounters inside the hospital are more common than bladder scans or blood draws. Rather the real raw deal is shown including post-op pain and nausea, continued food cravings, relationship difficulties, and people with deep emotional scars that have contributed to their self-comforting with food.

Third, as a formerly obese person myself (although I never approached the weights of the men and women on this show) I find myself cycling between compassion for them versus annoyance, especially when they refuse to get up and walk following surgery or sometimes lie to the surgeon at follow-up appointments when asked about their habits at home or adamantly state that they will do things their own way because they know better than the surgeon, they are being pushed too hard, etc. I don’t know him, but it seems Dr. Nowzaradan is doing all he can to help patients who are hanging onto life by very thin threads. I do smile every time he tells them they need to eat more protein and “no carbs.”

I can’t help but wonder about the men and women who go to Houston to be seen for initial consultation and are given an eating plan and told to come back in one month to see of they’ve made progress and can be scheduled for weightloss surgery…and don’t ever come back. Of course those don’t make it to my television, but I am concerned about them nonetheless.

 

 

 

Low carb during Nativity Fast

This won’t interest everyone, but the recipe should so stay with me here!

As an Orthodox Christian, I try to follow the fasting schedule of the Church. This was much easier way back in the day before I cut the carbs, and even prior to going gluten-free. Back then even Fig Newtons were acceptable as fasting fare, not to mention all the lovely breads and crackers and rice…you get the idea. 

But these days I am (feebly) attempting to follow the fasts. What does that mean? Orthodox Christians fast from meat and dairy products (vegan style) every Wednesday & Friday all year long, and then there are longer fasts for Lent which leads up to Pascha or Easter, as well as Advent or pre-Nativity which leads up to Christmas. It makes perfect sense if you think about it…how can one fully appreciate a great feast if there has been no fast before it?

Which brings me to cereal. I have adapted a recipe from my beloved All Day I Dream About Food that fits into the fast and is superbly scrumptious with almond milk. Loaded with fiber, protein, healthy fats, and flavor – and pretty easy to put together.  I can carry it to work for lunch or enjoy it in the evening…reminds me of the days I had a serious love affair going on with Frosted Mini-Wheats.

Oven on 300.  In a big bowl mix (with spoon or spatula) 1 1/2 cups almond flour, 1 cup hemp seeds, 1 cup unsweetened flake coconut, 1 cup nuts (I used walnuts, pecans, and almonds for this batch), 1/3 cup sweetener, 1/4 tsp salt. Mix all that together well, then add to that bowl 3 T melted coconut oil, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 flax egg (Google it!) and keep mixing it all until it starts to clump together.

Dump it all onto a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper, press down a bit with the back of a spoon, and put it in the oven for 25 mins. Sometimes if it’s not toasty brown at the end, I’ll turn the oven off and just leave it in there for a few more minutes.  Cool and put it in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Today I had one cup of this + one cup of almond milk and my premeal blood sugar was 90 and 1-hr postmeal blood sugar was 89.  

Also…delicious topping for Greek yogurt when/if eating dairy.

 

12-year Atkins-versary

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It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve posted anything, but today is my Atkins-versary and it seems fitting to check in and review a bit how things have gone over the years. The pic is me today – in the bathroom which is where all obnoxious selfies are created.

Why has it been so long since I posted? There are several reasons, not the least of which is I have spent time, effort, energy in getting back to practicing my Orthodox Christian faith, which means working out the details of what ‘fasting’ looks like for a low-carber.  It’s been an interesting year or so and I won’t claim that I have this all figured out and am doing it well, but I continue to struggle. (Which is a good thing, if you’re Orthodox!)

Twelve years ago I tried this low carb thing out of desperation – a Hail Mary, so to say. I was about 240 lbs (my highest known weight, not that I spent much time stepping on the scale at that point) and sick. See the ‘about’ section if you’re interested in my LC beginnings. My goal was 150, and I got there in about a year and a half.

Recent labs showed my HDL at 92, Triglycerides at 52.  Blood pressure has been steady for years in the 90s/50s range.  My weight has varied a bit over the years with the highest probably 158 and lowest (this a.m.) at 144.

Maintenance of weight loss requires daily vigilance. Those times when I’ve lost my focus have been those times when the number on the scale creeps up and I need to pull the “fat pants” off the closet shelf.  How to keep the focus? My work an a nurse practitioner helps.  Also I try to keep up with what’s going on in the LC community, via social media and the recent LC San Diego conference, for instance.

So here’s to my Atkins-versary! Here’s to being 50 with better health (and my husband would say better appearance) than at 38. And here’s to the next 12 years!

Book Review: The World Turned Upside Down

I haven’t read this, but I am getting it today

Low Carb RN (CDE)

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I have read A LOT of amazing and important books on health, nutrition, diabetes, weight loss and low carb.  I wish that I had taken the time to write reviews on all of them.  Some of my reviews are on Amazon.  I have many books on my reading list and will try to start sharing more reviews as I go.  For my recommended reading list, click HERE.

So, this was a book I finished not too long back and SO MANY things resonated with me that I actually took notes for a while, saving Dr. Feinman’s quotes (I LOVE quoting this man), then writing my opinions on what he said.  It got to the point that I loved so much about the book that I would have had to quote the whole book, lol!  So I stopped taking notes and will share with you what I did write down.

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Low Carb Sweets and Treats – Yes or No?

Low Carb RN (CDE)

Let me say first, that this page supports people on every part of their journey to good health with a low carb lifestyle.  But low carb doesn’t mean the same thing to every person.  Some people, like me, have to be very strict low carb in order to keep weight and metabolic markers controlled.  But some people that are metabolically gifted, have long term good health and normal weight, and just live a low carb lifestyle for the health benefits, may not have to be as strict at me.  For me, low carb doesn’t include sugar, grains, starches or 99% of fruit.  But others can sometimes tolerate some natural starches and some fruit (I still promote sugar and grain elimination for all people regardless of health or weight).

So what about low carb sweets and treats?  I have many followers who are adamantly opposed to any kind of sweets and…

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Why Is Dietary Advice For Those With Diabetes So Bad?

Low Carb RN (CDE)

Three different conversations between a healthcare provider, and patient:

HCP: “Mr. Jones, you have celiac disease.  Your body cannot tolerate gluten.  You need to remove gluten containing foods from your diet.”

Patient: “That makes sense.  Thank you.  I will do that.”

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HCP: “Mr. Smith, you have lactose intolerance. Your body cannot tolerate lactose.  You need to remove lactose containing foods from your diet.”

Patient: “That makes sense. Thank you. I will do that.”

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HCP: “Mr. Williams, you are overweight. You also have high blood sugar.  You need to lose weight and control your blood sugar.  My suggestion is to eat a diet high in carbohydrates.  At least 55% of your diet should come from carbohydrates.  Avoid fat as much as you can.”

Patient: “Don’t carbohydrates turn into sugar?  Won’t that make me gain more weight and raise my blood sugar even more?  Can’t I just cut down on carbohydrates?”

HCP:…

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Chicken Nuggets…and they’re fried!

Chicken Nuggets!

Okay, I am not a food blogger and I am definitely NOT a photographer.

But every now and then I throw something together that is just too good to keep to myself. So today I share with you Chicken Nuggets. You are welcome!

Easy to make, cooks in less than 15 minutes, golden-brown delicious, and made without fakeness. I made one generously-sized boneless, skinless chicken breast and it was so filling I couldn’t finish it, so saved some for tomorrow.

  1. Cut a chicken breast into nugget-sized bits
  2. Crack a whole egg into a bowl, fork it up, set it aside
  3. Put some pork rinds into a quart-size zipper bag and then smash them into crumbs. You want roughly 1/2 cup of crumbs
  4. Into the pork rinds bag add: 1/2 cup almond flour, generous shake of good salt, several shakes of black pepper, a couple shakes of paprika and shake it all up together (see the pic…you want plenty of black pepper and paprika)
  5. Heat the skillet to medium and melt 1-2 T coconut oil in the pan. Coconut oil is great to fry in since it can take the heat for longer time without oxidizing, turning black, and generally making your house a smoking mess.
  6. Dump the nuggets into the bowl with beaten egg, smoosh them around to coat
  7. Using a slotted spoon (or your fingers) grab a few nuggets out of the egg (let some drain off) and then plop them into the zipper bag with the breading. Shake, shake, shake!
  8. Carefully place the coated nuggets into the coconut oil.  Repeat until all your chicks are frying.
  9. I cooked mine 10-12 mins, but your timing may vary depending on the size of your nuggets. Let them brown nicely before you go moving them/flipping them so the coating stays in place nicely.

Obviously this would work for chicken tenders. I think I’ll try it next with fish but will omit the paprika and use a little Old Bay instead.

***Almost forgot to mention…blood sugar prior to eating was 80. I ate about 2/3 of the recipe (some of the breading was leftover and went to the trash) + a lot of Heinz low-sugar ketchup and my blood sugar one hour later was 93. Not too shabby!