Zero Carb … Final Thoughts
To anyone that is currently following a zero carb diet, let me apologize in advance. I did it, did it well and did the best I was able to, with what I interpreted as the rules. I ate my meat, fat, eggs, cheese and cream … all to my heart’s content. It was delicious.
HOWEVER, now that I can eat fruits and vegetables again … I realize just how much I’d given up!
While I would never eat any kind of wheat based low carb pasta while eating “clean”, my first meal out of the “ZC” gate was … PASTA! It was delicious, too! Linguini with Chicken, Bacon, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Broccoli, Fresh Mozzarella and a Rich Pesto Cream Sauce. OH YEAH!!!! It was horrible of me to do! After 30 days of perfect eating … I went and made pasta. What was I thinking?!
Sometimes … my thoughts … they don’t think right.
Creamy Pesto Primavera Pasta
The next day, the scale smacked me to reality and … I knew I had to go back to a clean way of eating.
… Next week. I promise!
One thing I need to be aware of is … you. You are reading this. Sometimes I just sit and write words to myself, writing what I think is interesting or funny … to “me”. “You” are made up of a lot of people. Some are trying to lose weight through eating low carb. Some are just maintaining, which means you can eat a MUCH wider and varied menu (including Frankenfoods), and others are experiencing blood sugar problems and are just looking to control their insulin (truth-be-told, if you’re reading this, chances are you care about insulin in some capacity). This group isn’t necessarily trying to lose weight. They just want to feel better and eat in a way that stabilizes and brings comfort.
As a result, I need to present a wide variety of food stuffs and tasty edibles. In the end, my ultimate goal is to present Low Carb as a delicious and varied way to eat. It needs to be presented as interesting, varied and delicious. Full of possibility and promise! My fear is that “Low Carb” has become a nasty seven-letter word, because the general public feels it’s restricted to only beef, bacon, eggs and cream, with no veggies, no bread, no variety and nothing interesting. That’s just wrong.
I want to make Low Carb look good!
Like this … the example below. Check these things out! MANY folks with a low carb Way Of Eating can eat these. Yum, right?!
Dr. Frankenstein’s Croutons
Those are full blown croutons. White bread, super low carb and a deep DEEP … Frankenfood (meaning it’s unnatural and processed. Hint: Carbquik). There’s nothing “whole foods” about those croutons. You’ll see … (recipes in development)
These golden brown, buttery, garlicky croutons are GREAT for maintenance or the occasional splurge, but … not for induction or anyone trying to lose weight. Someone just focused on controlling insulin could toss these in a salad … no problem! Again … this is one of those things … that can make Low Carb look good! I know I want to eat them … don’t you?!
Or … what about this … Strawberry Lemonade? This cool tasty beverage is not exactly induction friendly, but … it’s a clean food. Just lemon, pureed strawberries, water, a dash of salt and some sweetener! Most any of us can eat this, in my opinion. Berries are … in my world view … healthy and delicious. I eat them regularly!
A very small part of me feels like it’s subtly mean spirited to show these images and proclaim how diabolically delicious these potentially evil foods are (for some, but not most!). Precisely zero of them are induction friendly, but … let’s not forget that “induction” is only intended to be the first 2 weeks of this way of eating. I suspect that the tone of these writings and my selection of meals this week stem mostly from the fact that I’m glad and … relieved … to have some variety back in my life! 30 days of meat was tough! Sorry for those of you trying to eat clean. I’ve been OVERLY clean for 30 days. This is … payback! *wink*
For those unfamiliar with the term … “Induction” is the name for first phase of the Atkin’s diet. It involves eating less than 20 grams of carbs a day, which is INCREDIBLY low for many people. The cleaner and more natural, minimally processed, the better. A wild oversimplification is that it consists of only animal protein (meat, fish, eggs), some dairy and the occasional green leaf. It’s designed to change the way the body burns its fuel (ketosis). Once two or three weeks are up, people are supposed to add 5 grams a week and add a wider variety of ingredients, until they stop losing weight, at which point … they should subtract 5 grams and then continue the slower “Ongoing Weight Loss”. They maintain this level of carb intake (it’s different for every person) until they achieve their goal, at which point, they can theoretically add back some more carbs. Again … this is a wild oversimplification.
What’s my point? What am I blathering on about? I guess … I’m dancing, a bit, with the dark side.
My personal view is that all food is good and has its place. Ideally, you’re in the right place at the right time, with the right food! However, sometimes a bad food is better than no food. Sometimes a Frankenfood is better than the real thing! Sometimes Splenda is better than sugar … sometimes it isn’t. Have you ever tried to feed Splenda to yeast? Nothing happens!
I’m very curious to hear about what y’all think of various foods. At this point, it isn’t clear to me who’s eating what. Are you all strict zero carb vegetarians? Are each of you card carrying carnivores? Locavores? Omnivores? Pescatarians? What? Send me some emails, or post in the comments of this blog, or … on my Facebook page, or … my Google+ page … what’s your philosophy? How do you eat? What foods do YOU believe in? I’d really like to have a sense of what all y’all are eating. This will help introduce one another to each other’s ideas, while also helping me determine the types of foods to present.
At the moment, I’m shooting in the dark. Flying blind. Inquiring minds want to know!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … I generally believe a mostly plant based diet, with some animal proteins, mostly raw … is the best way to go. I generally believe grains (especially wheat) are bad and not really intended to be eaten by humans. I think this is the best Way Of Eating to achieve health and longevity. Where I start experiencing a lot of conflict is in … happiness. Maybe it’s my culinary training. Maybe it’s the way I was raised. Maybe it’s that the stuff is just so darn popular in my culture … bacon makes me smile. I love sausage! Pasta brings me comfort. Tortillas make tacos better. Pork that’s been smoked for near 24 hours makes me happy. In my opinion, health and longevity require an ample dose of happiness, to work!
Somewhere in the middle of that last paragraph is … precisely where my conflicted philosophy lives. It’s the two sides of the same coin. I suppose the purpose of this blog is to … bridge that gap. To quote the endlessly quotable Jerry Maguire … “Help me, help you!”
What’s your philosophy? How do you choose what to put on the dinner table?
All this talk about what’s good or bad in a diet is reminding me of an article I recently wrote for the LowCarbZen.com website. A little while back, I discovered the website through Facebook and added a recipe to it. The owner contacted me and thanked me for the recipe. I responded with some befuddled confusion over how Facebook works and … we chatted via email for a bit. Since then, she’s been INCREDIBLY kind and generous in promoting my Facebook page. I asked her if there was anything I could do to return the favor. She said … write something. So … I did!
I wrote about Hidden Carbs, the unseen carbs in many of the foods you’re probably eating. The little monsters … hiding under the bed. When I was done writing it, I have to say … I was really proud of it! If you’ve ever experienced a stall because your diet wasn’t quite clean, or … for any reason, really … check out my article on Hidden Carbs … it’s really quite … REVEALING!
Also, check out the LowCarbZen Facebook page. Lots of good discussion over there!
This week’s recipes …
We’re back into some of the basics that I’ve been eating and making on a fairly regular basis. There are two Enchilada-like creatures. A red one and a green one. BOTH get made in my house, quite often. Both are good with low carb tortillas, but they can also work with crepes or zucchini strips. It really depends on how I’m feeling. Do I feel like cheating? Do I deserve a break? Am I maintaining? Should I focus hard on clean … etc.? Also, there are two more skewer recipes. One is a bit of a misfire, but … it might inspire some of y’all to throw different things on a stick and hold it above a hot fire! Finally, there’s a nice deli wrap that’s really quite lovely and … tastes a whole lot like a sandwich!
Socially Challenged …
I’ve played more with Facebook, this week. I “kind of” feel like I’m getting the hang of it. At least … partially, but … who knows what I haven’t discovered, yet! Some wonderful and kind folks over at Google+ seem to have figured out who I really am and have added “me” (the real guy, not the wacky “Foodie” character) to their circles. I feel all squingy about that, but … I’ll need to get used to it. Now I just need to figure out which page(s) to update. The “Foodie” one … or be the real me?!
Vikings29 at LowCarbFriends.com (sadly defunct) shed some light on … what is blatantly obvious to me now, regarding Pinterest. Now, I can hopefully start playing with that a little more. I wasn’t following … or being followed … in a way that made sense to me. Now … it makes sense. Thanks, Vikings29!
Ok … on with the recipes!
Some Dude named …
ALL NEW Weekly Recipes!
|Cheesy Pork Enchiladas
These pork enchiladas are amazing. They make you feel like you’re cheating, but … you’re not! They’re full of cheese, moist tender pork, and the pork’s fantastically spicy sauce!
I’ve made these with both low carb tortillas, as well as with my all-purpose crepes. Truth be told both ways are
|Mexican-ish Shredded Pork
Latin Pulled Pork? South of the Border Porky Goodness?
I didn’t know what to call this one, but … it’s GOOD! Soft, easily shredded pork meat. It’s made with various things that are easily found around Baja, but it’s not really based on any one thing I was ever shown by anyone. Maybe it’s based off of a real thing, but … maybe not. It’s DELICIOUS, whatever its origins!
|Turkey, Bacon, Pesto Wrap
When I was younger, I had a stint in a Seattle Deli. It was an excellent experience. I learned a lot about merchandising, customer service, numbers, etc. I’d never worked in the grocery industry. It was really eye opening. I liked it!
Aside from fresh grilled Panini’s, another “stand out” were these lovely-tasty wraps that were made there. They were kind of like …
|Savory “Pesto” Schmear
Pesto Schmear is a cream cheese spread made with cream cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, olive oil, a little lemon juice, toasted pinenuts, salt and pepper. It’s a DELICIOUS sauce or spread and can be used in sandwiches, wraps, spread on toast or bagels, etc.
|Curried Chicken Skewers
Simple, simple, simple and easy. There’s something about “Curry Powder” that I just love! It’s a very specific flavor, which is odd due to the fact that it’s a blend of multiple spices, different companies do it differently and there’s no clear origin for the concept.
Yet, when you think of “Curry Powder”, you pretty …
|Pollo Verde Enchilada Casserole
There are two things I love to do in this world. One is to overcook chicken and shred it and … the other is to overcook pork and shred it. I do this often and tend to have both pork and chicken pre-shredded in my freezer. Sometimes it’s alone and sometimes it’s suspended in sauce. Sometimes it’s latin in origin and sometimes it’s asian. …
|Uninspired Beef and Mushroom Stick
Well … they can’t ALL be winners, can they? This is simple, well cooked and tasty, but it’s … meh. I wasn’t ‘feeling it” when I made this. Even from the pictures, it should be obvious what it is.
I’m leaving it because … I cooked it, I get to add another recipe to my total number of recipes (every one counts!) …
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