Author Topic: Lower-Carb Challenge  (Read 2252 times)

jane x

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Lower-Carb Challenge
« on: May 25, 2017, 04:14:36 PM »
I really need to reduce my carb intake as it's making me miserable with the sugar crashes and lethargy.  I was doing well until January when I had some medical issues to take care of and the stress of that completely derailed me.

So.  Here we are.  Now that my health is getting back to normal, I want to tackle the diet.  It's probably going to take a while for me to get down to low-carb, so I'm aiming for reduced carb for now.

Anyone want to join? 

jane x

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 04:52:47 PM »
My goal is to reduce my carb intake by one food item or category per week. I've been eating pretty high-carb.

Yesterday's meals:
breakfast -
coffee w/ cream
buttered bagel

lunch -
beans and rice

dinner -
chips & salsa
green salad
roasted chicken with beans and rice
watermelon

This week I will tackle rice because I think it will be the easiest.  I had some for lunch today but will not have any more this week.  Instead I will increase my salad intake.

And then next week I will probably tackle the bagels.  It's so easy to just pop a bagel into the toaster for breakfast.  I suspect this one will be hard.

jane x

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2017, 10:14:50 AM »
I was loyal to my no-rice goal last night. 

dinner -
homemade guacamole with chips
large green salad with grilled chicken
cherries with 3 pieces of dark chocolate


swick

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2017, 10:22:59 AM »
Just popping in to give you some encouragement :) It can be tough to transition to lower carb eating but generally worth it! Whenever we go back to higher carb eating for a couple of days, we feel awful. I don't know how we use to do it!

Cezilous

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2017, 10:31:09 AM »
We're trying.  We've gotten down to mostly just rice, which we eat a lot of because we're learning to cook a lot of Indian food, and can't eat all the tasty breads that go with it.  Not sure what we'll do about rice once we want to try to tackle that one..  :/

Of course yesterday someone brought in cookies to work and I ate 3 because the cookies available in proportion to the people was just god awful.  I felt really guilty eating the last one.  I'm trying so hard to get off sugar (my god, my mood...) and I just..can't resist things like this.  :(  I'll hop on board, and also offer my encouragement.  I know it can be real tough.

jane x

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2017, 10:31:26 AM »
Just popping in to give you some encouragement :) It can be tough to transition to lower carb eating but generally worth it! Whenever we go back to higher carb eating for a couple of days, we feel awful. I don't know how we use to do it!

Thanks swick!  I know it would be better to go cold turkey but that would be too hard.  :)

swick

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2017, 10:35:53 AM »
We're trying.  We've gotten down to mostly just rice, which we eat a lot of because we're learning to cook a lot of Indian food, and can't eat all the tasty breads that go with it.  Not sure what we'll do about rice once we want to try to tackle that one..  :/

You can try cauliflower rice, but I find it a PITA to make, most often, I'll just cut a head up and toss it with a little oil and salt and pepper in the oven to roast and use that as a rice substitute. Roasting veggies always makes them better :)

I will also roast a couple of eggplant and add these to Indian or Thai dishes to make the "saucy" part of the dish more substantial. Between these two it is a surprisingly easy way to get a lot of veggies into your meal and is substantial enough you eat less and don't need the rice.

jane x

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2017, 10:39:10 AM »
We're trying.  We've gotten down to mostly just rice, which we eat a lot of because we're learning to cook a lot of Indian food, and can't eat all the tasty breads that go with it.  Not sure what we'll do about rice once we want to try to tackle that one..  :/

Of course yesterday someone brought in cookies to work and I ate 3 because the cookies available in proportion to the people was just god awful.  I felt really guilty eating the last one.  I'm trying so hard to get off sugar (my god, my mood...) and I just..can't resist things like this.  :(  I'll hop on board, and also offer my encouragement.  I know it can be real tough.

Hi Cezilous!  Yeah, sugar.  I'm trying to keep it to dark chocolate since it's harder to overeat, but it's still hard.

When I gave up rice before I found that using greens as a substitute worked well but that I had to reduce the amount of salt for it to work.  So if I was having chile verde, stir fry, or curry I would eat it with lots of steamed broccoli and carrots or any other veggie.  The veggies worked well to soak up the sauce and held up well to the strong flavors.  In time I came to prefer the veggies to the rice and found the rice bland in comparison.  And reducing the salt in my food was a bonus.  Maybe that would help? 

And thanks for joining and for your encouragement!

jane x

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2017, 10:42:29 AM »
We're trying.  We've gotten down to mostly just rice, which we eat a lot of because we're learning to cook a lot of Indian food, and can't eat all the tasty breads that go with it.  Not sure what we'll do about rice once we want to try to tackle that one..  :/

You can try cauliflower rice, but I find it a PITA to make, most often, I'll just cut a head up and toss it with a little oil and salt and pepper in the oven to roast and use that as a rice substitute. Roasting veggies always makes them better :)

I will also roast a couple of eggplant and add these to Indian or Thai dishes to make the "saucy" part of the dish more substantial. Between these two it is a surprisingly easy way to get a lot of veggies into your meal and is substantial enough you eat less and don't need the rice.

We cross posted!  I too found the cauliflower rice to be a PITA.  I heard TJ sells it now but I still like fresh chunky veggies better.   

I like your idea of using eggplant as a sauce thickener.  Do you still have to do all the salting and draining that they show on cooking shows? 

swick

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2017, 01:03:07 PM »

I like your idea of using eggplant as a sauce thickener.  Do you still have to do all the salting and draining that they show on cooking shows?

I don't, I'm lazy :) Also it's not very common to worry about it in Turkey where I lived for a while, so do as the locals :) I think the key is not to get too big/old eggplants.  I just chunk them up, toss them in oil, salt and pepper and roast them until they are squidgy and delicious

jane x

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2017, 12:52:37 PM »
@swick - I'm lazy too!  That's why I haven't made eggplant before.  But now I'll try the roasting.  Roasted veggies are SO good.

Yesterday's meals:
breakfast-
coffee with cream, bagel with butter

lunch-
beans, salsa and chips
fresh cherries, 1 pc dark chocolate

dinner-
large green salad, grilled chicken

I felt so good after dinner and all the way to bedtime.  No sugar crash!  No lethargy!  I did have some crashing and lethargy after lunch so I know that the faster I reduce the carbs, the better.  But last night was a success.

FIT_Goat

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2017, 03:37:24 PM »
I am a pretty strict low-carber.  You can do this.  The hardest part is the start.  It gets easier as your body adapts and you find foods you like.

The last couple weeks have been hard, at work.  Tons of cake, cookies, chips, and candy every day.  I didn't crack.  But, I was tempted.

boarder42

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2017, 04:48:25 PM »
I eat a low carb low sugar diet. We have great copy cat recipes. Oven roasted cauliflower mash. And black bean chips are two of my favorites. You have to make the chips yourself as the store bought ones have other carbs in them.
PM me about how to save 6% on your annual grocery Bill!

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aperture

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2017, 05:06:03 PM »
Just switched to keto (20 g carbs/d) at the start of May.  I was low/slow carb before that with a cheat day once weekly when I ate anything I wanted (4HB). That starter slowcarbx6 cheat dayx1 was a good diet for me, but I plateaued on weight loss and started going backwards. 

Since going keto, most of the time, I do not crave sweets, and I have mostly stopped grazing.  I had diarrhea for a week which was interesting.  I think the gut flora was living off the carbs and sugars and much of it just died when they did not have their food any more. 

Some days I feel like keto is magic - gives me a normal relationship to food I never experienced before. 

I found reddit.com/r/keto to be a great resource.  Best wishes, ap.

jane x

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2017, 11:10:04 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement guys!  It's been tough with it being a holiday weekend.  But I'm still sticking to the no-rice goal.  I'm considering going keto next week.  I do great on it.  It really is magic.  And sometimes it's nice to just rip off the bandage so to speak.  We'll see if I can get myself to do it.

yesterday's meals
breakfast -
the usual coffe w/ cream and bagel w/ butter

lunch-
beans, salsa, avocado, chips (I should've had corn tortillas instead of chips but I was lazy)

dinner-
big green salad, grilled chicken
1 pc dark chocolate, fresh cherries
« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 11:12:42 AM by jane x »

twbird18

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2017, 08:11:45 PM »
We're trying.  We've gotten down to mostly just rice, which we eat a lot of because we're learning to cook a lot of Indian food, and can't eat all the tasty breads that go with it.  Not sure what we'll do about rice once we want to try to tackle that one..  :/

You can try cauliflower rice, but I find it a PITA to make, most often, I'll just cut a head up and toss it with a little oil and salt and pepper in the oven to roast and use that as a rice substitute. Roasting veggies always makes them better :)

I will also roast a couple of eggplant and add these to Indian or Thai dishes to make the "saucy" part of the dish more substantial. Between these two it is a surprisingly easy way to get a lot of veggies into your meal and is substantial enough you eat less and don't need the rice.

We cross posted!  I too found the cauliflower rice to be a PITA.  I heard TJ sells it now but I still like fresh chunky veggies better.   

I like your idea of using eggplant as a sauce thickener.  Do you still have to do all the salting and draining that they show on cooking shows?

You can buy frozen riced cauliflower now at most grocery stores. Alternatively a simpler way to "rice" the cauliflower is to throw it in a blender & fill with water - then simply drain the water off, you can even freeze individual bags of it to use later as rice or make cauliflower mash with. I'm kind of obsessed with cauliflower. My 2 favorite substitute rice recipes are:

Roast in a pan with diced carrots, mushrooms, onions & peppers
Fry with sesame oil & your favorite fried rice veg + meat +scrambled egg - top with soy sauce - I'm currently eating shrimp fried "rice". I even have white sauce.

Dragonswan

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2017, 08:31:10 AM »
Ill join when I get back from France.  At least twice a year I like to have a no sugar and low carb month; basically a modified Atkins phase one.  I allow myself 1 apple (morning), 1-2 tablespoons craisins (lunch) and one glass of red wine (with dinner) per day.  This helps with the initial sugar cravings.  Then its 30g/carbs loosely counted per day.  Below a sample of what a typical days meals look like when Im on this diet.  If I may be so bold Jane X, breakfast is the easiest meal to lose the carbs and the breakfast foods below can be made ahead.  Then have your salad for lunch.  Then dinner is low carb vegetable (one or combo) plus meat.

Breakfast apple, 3 deviled egg halves (you can do hard boiled eggs but the richness helps keep me sated), 3 precooked breakfast turkey sausage links.  Or Ill have apple and two muffin pan egg frittata/quiche (recipes abound on the net but I make mine with onion, cheddar cheese, crumbled sausage and a little salt, pepper and garlic powder, and milk to loosen the batter). These babies freeze really well and can go from freezer to microwave to mouth in 2 minutes.

Mid-morning snack other apple, peanuts or mixed nuts (if I was spendy).

Lunch Chopped salad with goat cheese, feta cheese, or shaved mixed Italian cheese, real bacon bits, 1-2 tablespoons 50% less sugar dried cranberries (still has the same number of carbs, so I dont know what theyre doing) Champagne vinaigrette or Greek salad dressing. 

Mid afternoon snack more nuts or a sugar free hard candy to keep my mouth busy and refreshed.

Dinner (Supper, supper, supper time from Charlie brown) Meat and veggie combo.  Roasted Broccoli and Kielbasa.  Or roasted zucchini, peppers and onion (olive oil, salt and dried Italian seasoning) with lamb meatballs (OK I cheat here and add just enough thick homemade tomato sauce to lightly coat the whole shebang). Or maybe, just maybe, if you have enough carbs left you could be decadent and do baked shrimp scampi (Ina Garten) with roasted cauliflower using the same topping as the scampi.  Nows the time to drink your wine and congratulate yourself on a day of low carb fine dining!

This should tide you over until I get back.


jane x

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2017, 12:29:02 PM »
Ill join when I get back from France.  At least twice a year I like to have a no sugar and low carb month; basically a modified Atkins phase one.  I allow myself 1 apple (morning), 1-2 tablespoons craisins (lunch) and one glass of red wine (with dinner) per day.  This helps with the initial sugar cravings.  Then its 30g/carbs loosely counted per day.  Below a sample of what a typical days meals look like when Im on this diet.  If I may be so bold Jane X, breakfast is the easiest meal to lose the carbs and the breakfast foods below can be made ahead.  Then have your salad for lunch.  Then dinner is low carb vegetable (one or combo) plus meat.

Breakfast apple, 3 deviled egg halves (you can do hard boiled eggs but the richness helps keep me sated), 3 precooked breakfast turkey sausage links.  Or Ill have apple and two muffin pan egg frittata/quiche (recipes abound on the net but I make mine with onion, cheddar cheese, crumbled sausage and a little salt, pepper and garlic powder, and milk to loosen the batter). These babies freeze really well and can go from freezer to microwave to mouth in 2 minutes.

Mid-morning snack other apple, peanuts or mixed nuts (if I was spendy).

Lunch Chopped salad with goat cheese, feta cheese, or shaved mixed Italian cheese, real bacon bits, 1-2 tablespoons 50% less sugar dried cranberries (still has the same number of carbs, so I dont know what theyre doing) Champagne vinaigrette or Greek salad dressing. 

Mid afternoon snack more nuts or a sugar free hard candy to keep my mouth busy and refreshed.

Dinner (Supper, supper, supper time from Charlie brown) Meat and veggie combo.  Roasted Broccoli and Kielbasa.  Or roasted zucchini, peppers and onion (olive oil, salt and dried Italian seasoning) with lamb meatballs (OK I cheat here and add just enough thick homemade tomato sauce to lightly coat the whole shebang). Or maybe, just maybe, if you have enough carbs left you could be decadent and do baked shrimp scampi (Ina Garten) with roasted cauliflower using the same topping as the scampi.  Nows the time to drink your wine and congratulate yourself on a day of low carb fine dining!

This should tide you over until I get back.

Thanks Dragonswan!  Your meals are decadent and delicious, yet still healthy and low carb.  You rock.

But.... your France trip has me day dreaming of all those amazing tarts and pastries I had in Paris years ago.  Oh.  My.  God.  The best food ever is conceived in France.  Since we walked everywhere, we were free to enjoy all the goodness without it affecting our weight or energy.  Lucky you to be going there.  Enjoy!

Dragonswan

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2017, 01:33:55 PM »
Yes.  All that amazing food I'm going to consume is why I will be dieting when I get back.  If I'm fortunate, the exercise will zero it out, but I doubt it - I'm on a mission.

Dragonswan

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2017, 10:11:20 AM »
I'm back. France was amazing! I'll start the diet on Monday as I will have to do some prep work this weekend.  So next week the plan is to do the deviled eggs and sausage for breakfast. And my standard apple.

For lunches I plan on having my chopped salad, an Atkins frozen meal (the varieties that don't include that weird tasting pasta are best), or two Morningstar grillers original veggie burgers, no bread, topped with garlic and herb cheese and a mayo/ reduced sugar ketchup sauce.  If I get the munchies during the day I'll have mixed nuts or slices of cheese.

I know it's hot but I'll also be having Zuppa Tuscana (recipes abound on the net).  I use cauliflower instead of rice to reduce the carbs.  I will also be doing a casserole based on the Budget Bytes recipe for broccoli rice casserole.  Instead of rice I use 1/2 head steamed or roasted cauliflower.  This eliminates the need for chicken broth.  I also use fresh broccoli (roasted, of course).  I add two chicken breast halves baked and shredded.  Because I add actual chicken, I change the soup to cream of celery.  Now if you double the recipe, use one can cream of celery  and one can cream of chicken.  I like a lot of cheese so I usually add 1/4-1/2 a cup more.  That should take care of dinners.   If I have consumed my 64 oz of water, I get to have my red wine with dinner.  If not, I'll break out the sparking lime water.  That should do it for the week. Enjoy!

Dragonswan

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2017, 09:59:43 AM »
Cocktail anyone? 
Rum and diet coke = 0 carbs
Vodka and diet Ocean spray blueberry juice (or cranberry juice if you prefer) = 0 carbs

Cache Stash

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2017, 01:24:24 PM »
I started six months ago.  After the first two weeks, in which I felt like I had the flu for about one of those weeks, I have now excluded the following from my diet:

All flour made from grains (I use Almond flour and other types not made from grains occasionally)
All grains (rice, wheat, barley, oats, rye, etc...)
Any food with added sugar
All tropical fruit
Potatoes  :(


My only/main source of carbs is vegetables
30% to 40% of my calories are now from fat

Benefits:

Lost 20 pounds without any additional exercise
Not hungry anymore
I was pre-diabetic with an A1C of 6.8 - It is now down to 5.8 and will continue to drop
Never thirsty anymore

Although avocados have become expensive, it is still one "splurge" I spend on for fat intake.

What I mostly eat:

Eggs (I now eat about 12-18 eggs per week and my cholesterol is down to 138)
Salads
Sandwiches wrapped in lettuce
2 to 3 (max) fruits per day
7-9 servings of vegetables
Chicken, Pork, Beef, Fish, Turkey (I have been eating beef about 5-6 times per week and my cholesterol is still low)

Things to watch out for:

Low fat ANYTHING.  It will normally have a lot of sugar added (upwards of 25 or more grams per serving!)
Mayo with added sugar
Yogurt with added sugar
Ketchup with added sugar
Baked beans with added sugar (good luck finding any without added sugar)

I make my own beans now with my Instapot.

My splurge (a few times a month) corn tortillas



madgeylou

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2017, 01:39:32 PM »
Hi everyone! I just read through this thread today -- so funny to read that you just got back from France, Dragonswan, as I am spending a month there this fall and am low-carbing and trying to get a bunch of exercise before I go, so I can enjoy all the patisserie :D

I've been pretty low in carbs since about five weeks ago. At the same time, I started lifting weights again, and bumping up the amount of walking I do. Good results so far -- I don't track my weight, but I've definitely seen gains in cardio endurance and also in my strength.

By and large I'm feeling good. The thing that seems to work for me is to decide on a small range of meals, and then just eat them over and over again most days. For me, breakfast is eggs with some kind of meat and/or veg (mushrooms and bacon, ham and onions, whatever is lying around). Lunch is some chicken salad, or a frozen palak paneer from Trader Joe's. Dinner is salad with meat/veg/cheese on top. Some days I also have an afternoon snack of an apple with some peanut butter. Friday nights we've been having a steak or roast chicken or something slightly more decadent.

I find when I keep my carbs super duper keto-range low, I end up eating so little that it's not good for me, especially if I'm also putting some time in on exercise. So my goal is to stay low, but not THAT low. To that end, once or twice a week I will have some kind of fish or meat curry with rice, or some Halo Top ice cream (low in sugar, high in protein -- it's not ice cream, really, but it scratches the itch).

It's been super hot around here (I live in CO) so I haven't wanted to turn on the oven, but when I get a cool day I'm going to make a ricotta/zucchini frittata. So good!


jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Lower-Carb Challenge
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2017, 01:54:22 PM »
Posting for companionship :)

Today's main meal:
Roasted bell peppers, stuffed with curried tuna and veggies.

Easy, fast, delish!