Food Diary Thursday, May 31

hot flax cereal

leftover pizza casserole
1/2 C cottage cheese
1 single serve jello

3 celery sticks spread with
4 Tbsp spinach dip
1 flax muffin
1 small bottle Coke Zero

(out at East Moon Asian Bistro)
1 egg drop soup
2 packets of soy sauce
1 C chopped chicken and vegetables
served on 2 pieces of iceberg lettuce
2 pieces tuna sashimi
2 pieces spicy scallop sashimi

lots of water

fish oil
raspberry ketones
B complex

Groceries Thursday, May 31

  • Keurig iced coffee pods: My Keurig is one of my favorite things in the whole world.  Who doesn't love coffee at the push of a button?  It's like the Jetsons.  Iced coffee is great for summer so I'm glad I was able to find these at the Giant.  
  • 2 bags shredded mozzarella: Pizza casserole was so good I decided to make it again.  I'm making two this time.  One will have mushrooms and one will not.  Awesome boyfriend can't stand them and I love them so we each have to have our own casserole.  Isn't that completely ridiculous?  
  • pizza sauce: I know that the recipe says to make your own sauce but I didn't feel like it this time.  
  • Italian sausage: for pizza casserole
  • cottage cheese: This is a great low carb snack.  The serving is a pretty good size for this brand so it's usually the one I stick to.  If you buy cottage cheese make sure to check the labels!  Some of them have a pretty high carb count and low serving size.  
  • green bell pepper: for pizza casserole
  • red onion: for pizza casserole
  • sliced onions: for pizza casserole
  • pepperonis: for pizza casserole
  • Coke Zero: I had eaten a bunch of sunflower seeds in the car and was super thirsty when I got to the grocery store.  I grabbed this to drink while I was in there.  

Celery and Cucumber Salad

This salad is the perfect compliment to lots of meat dishes.  It's yogurt based which makes it have a cool and creamy texture.  I served it with my spicy buffalo wings instead of celery sticks and it was a big hit.

1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 C Greek yogurt (look for one with low carb, high protein count)
1 tsp Texas Pete hot sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4-6 sticks of celery including leaves
1 cucumber
1 bunch green onions
1/2 C blue cheese crumbles

  1. Add cream, yogurt, hot sauce, and salt to a medium bowl and stir until combined.  
  2. Slice celery diagonally until you have 2 Cups.  Add to yogurt mixture.  
  3. Chop celery leaves until you have 1/4 C.  Add to yogurt mixture.  
  4. Cut thin cucumber slices then cut each slice in half until you have 1 C.  Add to yogurt mixture.  
  5. Cut green onions into small pieces with kitchen shears until you have 1/2 C.  Add to yogurt mixture.  
  6. Add blue cheese crumbles to yogurt mixture.  
  7. Stir with spatula or wooden spoon until blended.  
  8. This is best chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours prior to serving, but can also be served immediately.  

Here you can see what the celery slices should look like.
Just slice along a diagonal.  Don't worry about getting
them perfect.  
Celery leaves have a really potent flavor, so just a few
go a long way.  

Crunchy Spicy Buffalo Wings

Awesome boyfriend and I love chicken wings.  LOVE THEM.  I'm going to be completely honest here and tell you one of my more embarrassing secrets.  One of the reasons that I was originally attracted to a low carb diet is the fact that chicken wings are allowed.  Phew, I feel better!  Now that we've got that out in the open, I'm going to share a banging buffalo recipe with you.  Normally when I think of wings I think of a deep fry, but this pan fry is delicious and much easier for your home.  This sauce is spicy and sweet, and goes great with a cool, creamy blue cheese or ranch.

Just like restaurant wings.  
2 Tbsp paprika
chicken wings (fresh or frozen is fine, but they'll need to be thawed for this recipe)**
1 C Frank's RedHot Wings Sauce in either Buffalo or Hot Buffalo
1/2 C Texas Pete Original Hot Sauce
1 stick butter
2 Tbsp Splenda
oil of your choice (I prefer Canola but vegetable, peanut, or soy are also fine.)

  1. Add enough vegetable oil to a large skillet to make a depth of one inch.  Heat over very high heat.  
  2. Please a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet and set to the side.  
  3. Drain and rinse wings in a colander.  
  4. Once all water has drained away from wings, sprinkle with half the paprika (still in colander).  Toss and sprinkle with remaining paprika.  The goal is for paprika to be evenly sprinkled over wing surfaces.  
  5. Add wings to the skillet carefully with tongs.  If you just drop them in the grease will splash and you will burn yourself so be gentle.  If you have more wings than will fit in the skillet you can cook them in batches.  
  6. Cook wings until they turn a deep golden brown, turning as necessary.  This should take about 15 minutes per batch.  Don't worry about them getting cold; the sauce will be warm when you toss them.  
  7. While wings are cooking, combine the Franks, Texas Pete, butter, and Splenda in a medium pot over medium heat.  Stir until the butter melts completely and you have a smooth consistency.  The sauce will thicken slightly while the wings continue to cook.   
  8. Once wings are finished cooking, remove with either tongs or a long handled slotted spoon and transfer to the rack to drain.  
  9. After about 5 minutes have passed, add the cooked wings directly to the pot with sauce.  
  10. Toss until all wings are coated, and remove with either tongs or a slotted spoon.  
  11. Serve hot with celery and blue cheese dressing.  Enjoy!
  • This recipe will give you enough sauce for 3 pounds of wings, but you can cook as many or as few if you want.  Just cut the sauce recipe in half or multiply it.**  
  • Not into sweet and spicy?  Just leave out the Splenda and you'll have fantastic, traditional buffalo sauce.  
  • Per usual, this recipe is flexible to many tastes.  There are literally thousands of sauce recipes on the internet and many of them are compatible with a low carb diet.  Try substituting things like honey or brown sugar with Splenda.  
  • If you like BBQ sauce, I recommend Stubb's.  Clocking in at just 6 carbs per 2 Tbsp it's probably the best choice you'll find at your local supermarket.   That being said, 2 Tbsp is not enough to coat lots of wings so you'll probably have to either dip or pour.  
  • I was always told not to heat oil over high because it could burn, so I was scared the first time I made these.  For this recipe, it actually helps give the chicken wings that crunchy skin that folks are always looking for.  The oil will be extremely hot, so be extra careful.  
A little bit goes a long way.  

Evenly coated wings ready for frying pan.  

You can see that I have about an inch of oil here and that
is more than enough to do the job.  

I love my wire cooling rack.  It can also go straight into
the oven.  A great thing to invest in.  

Sauce should have an even consistency and a
tomato soupy color.  


Food Diary Wednesday, May 30

hot flax cereal
1 cup coffee with
2 Tbsp heavy cream and
1 packet Splenda

5 buffalo wings
3 Tbsp blue cheese dressing
1/2 C celery and cucumber salad
1 single serve Jello

1/2 C sunflower seeds
1 C cottage cheese

1 serving pizza casserole
1 glass dry red wine

1 flax muffin
1 cup hot tea with
1 packet Sweet'N Low

lots of water!

fish oil
raspberry ketones
B complex

Groceries Wednesday, May 30

  • shredded mozzarella: I know that there are people out there who prefer to grate their own cheese, but I'm not one of them.  I almost always go for the bag stuff.  
  • green bell pepper: to be used in pizza casserole recipe
  • small can tomato paste: to be used in pizza casserole
  • small can tomato sauce: to be used in pizza casserole
  • pepperoni pack: I bought these for the pizza casserole, but they're also good to keep around for a quick low carb snack.  
  • Italian sausage: for pizza casserole
  • sliced mushrooms: for pizza casserole
  • pain killers: to take to work.  Sometimes I get headaches in there.  

Multi Use Blue Cheese Dressing

This blue cheese dressing rocks because it is delicious on so many things.  It has a sour cream base which I think has a cooler taste than a mayo based dressing.  The recipe that follows is pretty thick and great for wings or dipping vegetables.  If you want to use it on a salad, you can thin it out by adding more lemon juice and/or more heavy cream.  Normally I'm pretty cost conscious (read: cheap) when I buy groceries, but blue cheese for a dressing like this is something I'm willing to spend on.  There's a huge difference in flavor from grocery store brand blue cheese to a higher end one.  There's probably a gourmet cheese section at your local grocery store.  I would start there, or venture to a wine and cheese shop if you're feeling like a foodie.

1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C blue cheese crumbles
1/4 C mayo
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp heavy cream
juice of 1 medium sized lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


  1. Add sour cream, blue cheese crumbles, mayo, garlic, and cream to a medium sized bowl.  
  2. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into bowl with other ingredients.  Make sure to remove any seeds.  
  3. Add salt and pepper to other ingredients.  
  4. Mix with a spoon until all ingredients are incorporated.  
  5. You can serve immediately if desired.  This recipe will store in the fridge according to the shelf life of the sour cream.  The longer it sits, the stronger the blue cheese will taste.  
  • Try this on steaks, chicken, veggies, salad- there are lots of possibilities.  
  • This dip is especially excellent with chicken wings.  
The stinkier, the better!
image via


Food Diary Tuesday, May 29

Breakfast/Lunch (day off- slept until 11ish)
4 slices of bacon
2 eggs scrambled with
cilantro, heavy cream, garlic powder, black pepper
1/2 C shredded Jack cheese
1 cup coffee with
2 Tbsp heavy cream

1/2 C cottage cheese
1 flax muffin
1 glass dry red wine
I love these monogrammed wine glasses.  Awesome
boyfriend gave them to me for Christmas 2 years ago.  

6 buffalo wings served with
1/2 C celery and cucumber salad
and 4 ounces blue cheese dressing

1 single serve pack sugar free Jello
2 Tbsp whipped cream

Groceries Tuesday, May 29

I've been getting some questions in my email [lifelovelowcarb@gmail.com] about brands, costs, where to shop, and some other things related to the grocery store.  I'm not sure if I've shared this with you all or not, but I LOVE the grocery store.  It's a sickness.

I think part of it has to do with the fact that I have a tendency to flow into Type A territory and grocery stores are always so organized.  I also love to chat with the people working behind the counters (slowly turning into my mother).  I have a guy that I like to talk to at the fish counter.  Every time I stop by he asks me about the flounder, or salmon, or mussels that I bought last time, and how I'm planning to cook whatever I'm buying today.  At the Giant grocery store near my house, they have a restaurant style steamer, and I can swing by and get shrimp or crab legs steamed and tossed in Old Bay, at no extra charge.  At the deli, there's always something new on sale.  And the best part?  They give out free samples!  Why yes, I do think I'd like a slice of cheese and another of turkey to snack on while I shop.  I like to squeeze the tomatoes, smell the melons, and poke the avocados.  We all have our things- don't judge me, dammit.
image via

I normally shop at Giant, but I've also been known to stop in at Mom's Organic Market in Jessup, Maryland.  This is a whole other kind of grocery store and sometimes I end up wasting even more time in there than in the regular supermarket.  The same thing is true for Trader Joe's, which is also nearby .

I'm going to start posting pictures and short descriptions of grocery store trips in the hopes that they will answer some of your questions and help you with your own shopping.  Please feel free to send me an email if you're curious about anything that you see here.

Now, on to the main event: Groceries from Giant on May 29.

  • Romaine Hearts: I keep these on hand for quick salads or wraps
  • Celery with leaves: used in Celery and Cucumber Salad
  • Cilantro: I can't get enough of the stuff.  I really like it in eggs and on salads.  
  • Eggs: we eat so many I've had to switch to the 18 packs.  
  • Green onions: Also used in celery and cucumber salad.  
  • Heavy whipping cream: also a great item to keep on hand.  So many uses for a low carb eater.  
  • Gallon recloseable bags: I like to pack my salads in these for work, add dressing, and shake.  
  • Lemon: used in celery and cucumber salad as well as in iced tea.  
  • Sugar Free gelatin: a great snack when you need a quick sweet fix.  Top with whipped cream.  
  • Powdered drinks- peach tea, arnold palmer, and fruit punch: Awesome boyfriend doesn't like water as much as I do.  He always wants a juice or tea with dinner, so I try to keep these in the house.  
  • Cucumber: Also used in celery and cucumber salad.  
  • Blue cheese crumbles: Used in celery and cucumber salad, and in Blue Cheese Dressing for Crunchy Buffalo Wings.  


Food Diary Monday, May 28

Lunch (we slept until around 12 PM)
back to Cook Out in Greensboro- we can't get enough of that stuff
cheeseburger (no bun) topped with
cheese, chili, slaw, onions
side of slaw
Diet Coke

(with awesome boyfriend's dad in Stem, NC)
2 servings of Vodka topped with
diet Mountain Dew
2 pork ribs cooked on grill
2 pieces of chicken cooked on grill
1/2 C potato salad*
1 C mac and cheese*

**Darn!  I was doing so good this trip but I couldn't hold out when presented with the country goodness.  Awesome boyfriend caved first and I shortly followed suit.  If there is a wonderful meal to spend some carbs on, Southern home cooking is the way to go, but this was still a huge setback for me.  Measurements this week reflected both this meal and large amounts of alcohol we consumed while we were home.  Planning to get in some good exercise this week to punish myself for this lack of willpower.  Keep taking supplements, tighten up the next few weeks, and keep it moving.


Food Diary Sunday, May 27

BBQ tray from Cook Out in Greensboro:
North Carolina style chopped pork with
hot sauce
side of slaw
Diet Coke

(with awesome boyfriend's mom in Durham, NC)
2 sticks of celery with 2 Tbsp hummus
1 baked chicken leg
1/2 C green beans
1/2 C smoked turkey
1/2 C cooked cabbage
1/2 C grilled salmon with dill, butter, lemon
2 glasses dry red wine

Out with Friends
(Bender's Tavern Greensboro, NC)
6 servings vodka with soda water and lime wedges
5 crunchy dill pickle wedges

lots of WATER

raspberry ketones
fish oil
B complex

*Way too much alcohol and probably too many carbs today.  It's just so hard to tell exactly what you are eating when you are not cooking for yourself.  Likely sugar and carb culprits are cole slaw, hummus, and wine. This wasn't a banner day, but sometimes you have to do the best you can with what you got.  We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with friends and family, so I say worth it.


Food Diary Saturday, May 26

2 pieces of Atkins bread warmed in toaster
topped with 2 slices Muenster cheese
2 slices roast beef
1 cup coffee with
2 Tbsp heavy cream

4 pieces of bacon
2 eggs scrambled with
cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper

Coke Zero
2 slices Colby Jack cheese from deli
2 slices roast beef from deli

(out at the Taproom in Greensboro, NC)
burger topped with
pimento cheese
cucumber and tomato salad in vinegar dressing
3 ounces tequila over ice with salt and 2 lime wedges

Out with Friends
Awesome boyfriend and I went out with some old friends that we were visiting while in North Carolina.  Needless to say there was lots of tequila involved.  It was, of course, served over ice with salt and lime wedges.

lots of water all day

fish oil
raspberry ketones
B complex
vitamin D


Food Diary Friday, May 25

These are great driving snacks.  If you're going more than
6 hours or so you will need a cooler, but we just leave them
on the floorboard under the air conditioning and they
are fine.  Protein is a much better car snack than
carbohydrates because it keeps you full much longer.
hot flax cereal
1 cup of coffee with
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

2 pieces Atkins bread warmed in toaster oven
2 slices Muenster cheese from grocery store deli
2 slices roast beef from grocery store deli
2 tomato slices
2 pieces of lettuce
1/2 bag of salt and vinegar pork rinds

(traveling with awesome boyfriend to North Carolina for memorial day weekend)
assorted cheese slices from grocery store deli
1/4 pound sliced london broil from grocery store deli
Normally I try to limit caffeine, but I do like to have it when I
am driving.  Coke zero is my favorite diet soda.
1 C sunflower seeds
Coke Zero

fish oil- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
raspberry ketones- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
L-Glutamine- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
fiber- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
B complex- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch

A little present to myself.

Look what came in the mail today!  An egg cooker shaped like a chicken?  That's just silly.

I love hard boiled eggs in all of their forms.  I like them deviled, chopped up on salads, or slathered on an egg salad sandwich.  Problem is, I hate cooking them.  I usually end up dropping one into the pot and cracking it, which makes a mess in the water.  Or, I cook them too hot and the yolks turn green.  Or, I don't cook them hot enough and the yolks come out runny and I've wasted a whole batch of eggs.  Another problem is that it's hard to justify so much work for just one egg to top a salad or something.  

Enter this little gadget, which I ordered here.  If you've never visited stupid.com it's worth a trip.  They sell all kind of kitschy, funny stuff.  I get the emails when they have new items and this little guy popped into my inbox last week.  The best part about it is that it actually works!  I was a little scared that the metal piece was going to blow up my microwave but it didn't.   

No more worries about cooking the perfect egg.  Now, I can put an egg in the microwave while I'm making coffee in the morning, and have it on my salad for lunch.  


Food Diary Thursday, May 24

Starbucks only has half and half so I just get it black and
add the heavy cream at my office.  
hot flax cereal
1 cup coffee with
2 Tbsp heavy cream and
1 packet Splenda

1 C chopped romaine topped with
1 diced tomato slice
2 Tbsp sliced shallots
1/4 C shredded Parmesan
2 Tbsp Newman's Own Creamy Caesar
2 small pieces of Baked Chicken
This spinach dip has about 1 carb per Tablespoon, so make
sure you measure!  It's really filling and a good after
work snack.  Have it with celery for some fiber and crunch.  

medium iced coffee from Starbucks with
4 pumps sugar free cinnamon
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

2 celery stalks spread with
4 Tbsp spinach dip
2  Atkins Revolution rolls topped with
2 Tbsp cream cheese

(out at East Moon Asian Bistro)
Any type of raw tuna is always a safe choice.  This
could be ahi, sashimi, tataki, or any other variety.  
1 serving pepper tuna
2 pieces spicy scallop
green salad with ginger dressing
egg drop soup
seaweed salad
green tea with 1 packet Sweet'N Low

fish oil- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
L-Glutamine- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
raspberry ketones- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
fiber- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
B complex- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch

Spicy scallops are usually a good choice as long as you
avoid the rice.  Check with your waitress to make sure that
tempura flakes aren't mixed in.  Or, sit at the sushi bar where
you can watch them make it.  I've always found those sushi
chefs to be really friendly and happy to answer questions.  

Seaweed salad can be hit or miss because sometimes there
are added sugars or sweet sauces.  Ask your waitress or
sushi chef how it's prepared.  The good news is that it is
generally a small serving so there's little chance of
uncontrolled pigging out.  

Successes and Struggles: Week 7


  1. Pants are feeling looser.  Can't wait to get to a point where I can buy some new ones.  
  2. We successfully navigated the Bar Crawl in Annapolis.  I was nervous about this event because alcohol always makes me want to eat things like pizza and Waffle House.  I drank only tequila over ice with lime juice.  Awesome boyfriend did also did well, sticking to whiskeys and low carb beers.  
  3. I've been clipping lots of tasty looking recipes out of my foodie magazines for inspiration.  I can't wait to develop low carb versions of all of them.  
  4. Over 1,000 people visited this blog last month!  Can you believe that it?  I've received several emails with positive feedback on recipes and words of encouragement.  I started writing these articles for myself and my loved ones, but this has really pushed me in a different direction.  I'm not sure exactly what the future looks like, but it will definitely include more recipes and survival guides.  
  5. Still feeling good.  I have so much energy.  No more struggling to keep my eyes open in the afternoon at work.  

  1. I'm not losing as fast as I want to.  It's almost summer!  There are a few things that could be causing this.  When we lived in North Carolina, awesome boyfriend and I used to hit the gym 4-5 nights a week and this caused us to lose very quickly.  We haven't been doing that here in Maryland, but we probably need to.  
  2. Memorial weekend is coming up and that means cook outs.  I'm going to come armed with Atkins Bread for cheeseburgers, but there's not a lot that can be done about side dishes.  
  3. Summer brings with it lots of beach time, parties, days at the pool, weekends away, etc and these are all opportunities to ingest a lot more alcohol.  I seem to be having a hard time finding a balance.  Just last weekend I had a girly night out on Friday and the bar crawl in Annapolis on Saturday.  This weekend includes Memorial day which is filled with boozy activities.  Even a couple of drinks is enough to stall a metabolism and I'm worried that we have thrown away last week and will throw away next week as well.  It's not a total loss as long as we are not gaining, but we could be doing better.  
  4. I keep having these cravings for a cheeseburger and french fries.  Weird.  
  5. We are going to North Carolina this weekend and are NOT eligible for any cheat meals because we just had one last weekend.  Things should go more smoothly because awesome boyfriend is traveling with me this time, but I'm still nervous I'll cave in front of a huge plate of fried pickles.  


Food Diary Wednesday, May 23

hot flax cereal
1 cup coffee with
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 packet Splenda

taco salad:
chopped romaine
chili- picked out the beans
sour cream, guacamole, salsa
shredded cheese
diet coke

1/2 C ranch flavored sunflower seeds
3 ounces Stilton cheese with apricots

1 pan fried ribeye
1 C chopped romaine topped with
2 Tbsp sliced shallots
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
bacon bits
shredded Parmesan
2 Tbsp Newman's Own Creamy Caesar

1 snack cup sugar free jello topped with
2 Tbsp whipped cream

fish oil- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
L-Glutamine- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
raspberry ketones- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
fiber- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
B complex- 1 with breakfast


Food Diary Tuesday, May 22

Jimmy Dean sausage and cheese microwave omelet with
1 Tbsp Texas Pete
1 cup coffee with
1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

1 Jerk chicken breast
1 Cup chopped romaine topped with
1/4 C banana peppers
1/4 C chopped tomato
1/4 C sliced shallots
1/4 C shredded Parmesan
2 Tbsp Italian dressing

Sweet and Creamy Chai

4 Tbsp spinach dip with
3 celery sticks
3 ounces Stilton with apricots (cheese)

1 pan fried ribeye
1 C bacon cheddar broccoli
1 cup green tea with 1 packet Sweet'N Low

1 Atkins Revolution roll topped with
2 Tbsp cream cheese

water water water

fish oil- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
L-Glutamine- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
raspberry ketones- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
B complex- 1 with breakfast
fiber- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch

Side note:
I whipped up a batch of Atkins revolution rolls this evening and boy are they good.  I only cooked for 30 minutes instead of one hour because I made them on a baking sheet instead of a muffin pan.  It seemed to be the perfect cooking time.  They smelled so good I had to have a warm one when they came out of the oven.

Can't wait to use these to make sandwiches or burgers this week.  

Pan Fried Ribeye

That's right.  I ate the whole thing.  
Awesome boyfriend and I love steaks.  We cook them on the grill, we cook them in the oven under the broiler, we slice them up and toss them in stir fry- I could go on and on.  We are beef people.  There's no two ways about it.

One of my favorite ways to cook a steak is to pan fry it with lots of butter.  To me, the best cut for this is a ribeye.  The ribeye has enough fat that you don't have to worry about it sticking to the pan, or drying out while it cooks.

1 ribeye steak (look for one with fat marbled throughout)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce


  1. Use a fork to poke small holes in steak on both sides.  This will help the steak absorb spices.  
  2. Season steak on both sides with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.  
  3. Drizzle Worcestershire sauce over top of steak and let sit for at least 10 minutes.  
  4. Melt coconut oil in a pan over medium high.  
  5. Once coconut oil is melted, add 1 Tbsp butter and melt.  
  6. After butter and coconut oil have combined and pan is hot, add seasoned ribeye to pan.  
  7. Cook for 2 minutes on each side.  
  8. After ribeye is finished cooking, remove from heat and place on a paper towel for 2 minutes to drain.  
  9. Transfer to plate to serve.  Top with remaining butter.  

Seasoned ribeye cooking.  You can see the fat marbled throughout.  

Bacon Cheddar Broccoli

There's not a whole lot to this dish, but it's so good and so low carb wonderful.  Awesome boyfriend loves it.  It's one of my go to side dishes especially if we are having a single meat dish for the main course like steak or grilled chicken.

So cheesy.  
1 head of broccoli
1/2 C real bacon bits
1 C shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat.  Add a dash of salt to the water while it is warming.  
  3. While water is warming, chop broccoli into bite size pieces.  One head of broccoli should yield about 2 cups after you discard the stalks. 
  4. Add broccoli to water and cook for about 4 minutes.  Don't let the broccoli get mushy because it will cook a little further when you put it in the oven.  
  5. After broccoli is cooked, drain in a colander and pat dry with a paper towel.  Transfer broccoli to an oven safe container.  I love to use my Pyrex bowls for this.  
  6. Top broccoli with shredded cheese and bacon bits.  If you wish, you can use more or less of these ingredients to adjust for your tastes.  
  7. Add dish to oven and cook long enough to melt cheese and warm bacon.  This should be about 5 or 10 minutes.  
  8. Serve with ranch dressing or hot sauce if desired.  
When broccoli turns a bright green color, it is almost done.  

Easy Bake Spiced Chicken

Welcome to another edition of lazy cooking by Kelly.  Yesterday I had guitar lessons after work, then I went over to my friend's house for our weekly Bachelorette watch party from 9-11.  By the time I got home I was tuckered and did NOT feel like cooking, but also did not feel like eating take out for lunch the next day, yet again.
Jerk, Cajun, and Curry.  
This chicken requires minimal work and even more minimal clean up.  The finished product can be cut up for salads, tofu noodle pastas, or lettuce wraps.  It's also tasty just eaten with a fork and a salad on the side, which is what I did today. You can spice it however you like, so experiment a little and find out what suits your tastes.

I always like to cook a few pieces so that I will have enough for a couple of days.  I might use the extra to make chicken salad, tacos, or a soup.

boneless skinless chicken
(this can be in the form of either breasts or cutlets)
cooking spray
1 Tbsp butter
your favorite spices/seasonings

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  
  2. Line a baking sheet or dish with foil.  Once again, I reached for my trusty Pyrex.  
  3. Spray foil with cooking spray.  This will help keep chicken from sticking to the foil.  
  4. Rinse chicken and pat dry with a paper towel, then place in foil.  
  5. Sprinkle your favorite seasoning over one side of chicken.
  6. Flip chicken over and sprinkle the other side.  
  7. Top each piece of chicken with a pat of butter.  You don't need much because you already sprayed the foil before hand.  The butter will help to keep the chicken from drying out.  
  8. Fold foil over on all four sides to trap in steam.  
  9. Add pan or dish to oven.  Cooking times will vary based on thickness of chicken pieces.  Cutlets need to cook about 20 minutes.  Larger breasts need to cook 30-35.  To check if chicken is cooked, unwrap foil and cut largest piece in the middle.  If it's still pink, pop it back in for another 5 or 10 minutes.  
  10. Once chicken is done cooking, unwrap foil.  Be careful because steam will escape. 
  11. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool before eating.  Throw away foil and you're done- no dishes wash!  
  12. Chicken can be stored in the fridge for up to three days.  
Chicken about to go into the oven.  You can see about how much spice
and butter I used.  
The trifecta.  I love ready mixed spices.  I used them all the time to season
dishes.  I like to mix my own, but sometimes I just don't have the time
or energy to drag out all of those ingredients.  Jerk, Cajun, and Jamaican
Curry are my 3 favorites.  The first two you should be able to find in
your regular grocery store.  I bought this Curry powder at an international
market so I'm not sure if you'll be able to get the exact one.  Any Curry
powder should work in this recipe if you can't find this one.   


Food Diary Monday, May 21

These are a great low carb meal when you are on the go.
They're really filling and pretty tasty.  I like mine with
a splash of Texas Pete.  
1 Jimmy Dean sausage and cheese omelet
1 cup coffee with
1 Tbsp heavy cream

(out at Kiyoko Express)
steak with mushrooms
side of hibachi onions and zucchini*
spicy mayo
Coke Zero

1/2 C ranch flavored sunflower seeds
2 slices provolone cheese from the grocery store deli

1 C shrimp salad from grocery store deli
1/2 C spinach dip from grocery store deli*
3 celery sticks

  • This wasn't a terrible lunch.  I ate all of the steak and about half of the vegetables.  If you ever do order something like this make sure that you go easy on the onions and zucchini.  They're not on the 'no' list, but they should be eaten in small quantities.  
  • Spinach dip is always a grey area.  If you order it, make sure to check the ingredients first!  This particular variety was made of sour cream, spinach, lemon juice, and some spices, so a little is okay.  Often times there are hidden carbs or added sugars in restaurant dips.  Also, if you order a veggie based dip make sure to count those vegetables.  It's impossible to know exactly how much you are getting so make a generous guess.  Better to be eating less than your daily allowance than more.  
  • I forgot my supplements today.  Oops!  

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of my favorite things ever.  I feel like it is a gift from the gods to me personally.  It's probably the most versatile thing in my kitchen, and also one of the things that I reach for the most when I am cooking.  It has a light coconut flavor that adds depth to any recipe but is not so strong as to overpower more savory ingredients.  It melts quickly and is great for frying or sauteing vegetable and meats.

This is the brand that I use.  They actually don't sell this one in the regular grocery store so I buy it at Mom's Organic Market in Jessup, Maryland.  Any health food store like Earth Fare or Whole Foods will have it.  Any brand will do, but make sure that it is unrefined.  A jar like this costs about $9.  Now you all know that I like simplicity when it comes to my kitchen and try not to purchase fancy ingredients that you can't get at a regular grocery store.  This is one exception, and it is worth it.  

I keep two jars in the house, one is for my kitchen and one is for my bathroom.  Awesome boyfriend and I have had huge problems with dry, itchy skin since we moved to Maryland, and coconut oil is a wonderful remedy for this.  We slather it all over our bodies, especially on really dry places like feet, elbows, and shoulders.  Because coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, it is easier to work with than other body oils. It works great as a makeup remover, and I've also used it as a hair mask, especially after bleaching.  It smells awesome, and because it is an oil, it offers way more staying power than a lotion type moisturizer is able to.  

Now, on to the good stuff.  I use coconut oil in my kitchen every day.  Anywhere that you would use butter or vegetable oil, you can substitute this stuff.  I cook my eggs in it, I use it to pan fry steaks, I use it in muffin batter, I use it to saute veggies- there is literally an endless list of what you can do with it.  

Coconut oil has lots of health benefits, making it a power food.  Power foods work harder for you than regular foods and include things like almonds, salmon, and flax.  Coconut oil has been linked to everything from weight loss to strengthening the immune system, and there is lots of research on the internet about all that it can do.  

Coconut oil is a highly saturated fat, with one Tbsp containing about 12 fat grams.  If you're having trouble getting enough fats into your diet, adding a Tablespoon of coconut oil to meals can help with this.  Coconut oil is cholesterol free and this makes if vastly superior to animal based fats like butter or lard.  There are lots of varying opinions out there regarding hydrogenated vegetable oils and their health risks, but because coconut oil is a solid in its natural state, it does not go through the hydrogenation process, and some believe that this makes it superior to other plant based oils.  Let me add a disclaimer here that I am not a doctor, and you should always talk to your health care provider before undergoing any dietary changes.  If you suffer from heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before adding fats, of any kind, to your diet.  

I try to ingest at least a Tablespoon or coconut oil a day.  If I can't achieve this through cooking, I just stick a spoon in the stuff and manage to get it down, although eating a Tablespoon of oil isn't a pleasant experience.  As with anything, this ingredient should be used in moderation.  My low carb diet consists of a variety of fats, proteins, and vegetables, and all of those things should be taken in balance.  While saturated fats are no longer viewed as the food devil that they once were, huge amounts of them are still linked to scary things like heart disease.  

I have two parting thoughts for what I consider to be a miracle product.  First, go to the health food store, pick up a jar, and give it a try.  If you don't like to cook with it you can use it in your bathroom.  And if you don't like it there, you only spent $9 so not a huge loss.  Second, if you're curious, do some more research on this topic.  I could write pages about all of the information out there, but instead I'm going to leave you some helpful links to get you started.  

Update 8/10/12: Many thanks to a reader in North Carolina for passing along this bit of information.  New research shows that consuming 18-24 grams a day of coconut oil will yield significant results in terms of weight loss, boosting metabolism, and increasing energy.  1 Tablespoon of coconut oil is around 13 grams, according to Coconut Oil Online, so try to use 1-2 Tbsp each day in place of regular cooking oil or butter.


Food Diary Sunday, May 20

Bonus Day!  There's nothing I love more than a cheat day to reward success.  Awesome boyfriend and I went out of town with another couple this weekend so we planned to eat some bread while we were out.  Cheat days are something that should only be used occasionally and should be planned in advance.  You can find more information regarding my philosophies on cheating here.

(out at Red Hot and Blue)
ribs, chopped pork barbeque, pulled chicken, sausages
grilled onions, mac and cheese, fried okra, hush puppies, mashed potatoes, sweet potato fries, cole slaw
blackberry cobbler

leftovers from lunch- we ate about 1/2 of what we ordered at lunch and the other 1/2 for dinner

small frozen yogurt from cold stone with
yellow cake and chocolate shavings

so much water today

forgot to take my supplements today, which goes against my own advice- oops

To Cheat, or Not to Cheat

Kelly loves a cheat day.....

To cheat, or not to cheat?
The idea of a cheat day is is something that is very individual.  It's impossible for me to tell you what you should do without knowing your habits and preferences, but I can tell you what works for me.  There are lots of varied philosophies out there regarding cheat days, so it's worth doing some additional research on your own, but I can tell you my personal views here.

For me, cheat days are a wonderful thing.  They make it easier to exist in a carb filled world.  You shouldn't deprive yourself completely of foods that you love.  On top of that, eating is social for most people and it's important to participate in social activities that include food.  Making drastic changes to the things that make you who you are is no way to live and you'll end up hating me for suggesting such a thing.

The trick about cheat days is that they have to be controlled.  If you read my post about my recent trip to North Carolina, then you have a good example of an extremely uncontrolled cheat day that got away from me quickly.  Today was a stark contrast to that.

Awesome boyfriend and I ordered a huge lunch with all of our favorite foods from Red Hot & Blue, an amazing barbeque joint.  What we didn't eat we brought home and nibbled on for dinner.  We also went to Cold Stone (another one of our dirty habits) and each got a small ice cream around 6PM.

The reason that cheat days work for us is because we usually do them together.  We help each other stop when we say we are going to stop.  Unlike mother's day weekend, there's no danger here of me having additional cheat meals tomorrow or the next day.  The food is gone, and we don't keep carby stuff in the house, so we will be back to regular schedule tomorrow.

A second reason that we have success with cheat days is that we plan them in advance.  We knew we were going to be visiting Annapolis with some friends and so we've been excited to have a cheat day this weekend for several weeks now.  We had actually planned to have a carby sugary brunch by the water that would include things like pancakes and hash browns, but we stumbled over Red Hot & Blue and changed our minds.  The knowledge that there is a cheat day coming up on the horizon makes it easier for me to resist temptations in the day to day.

Perhaps our most important cheat day success secret is that we really do use these days as a reward for hard work. We take time to pick our favorite foods, go sit down somewhere that we both love, and truly enjoy what we are eating.  We eat off of each other's plates so that we can sample everything, and we don't rush these meals.  It's grown to be somewhat of a special thing that the two of us can do together, and this makes cheat days something that we look forward to even more.  Again, the social aspect of food comes into play here.  Neither one of us wants to waste this thing that we do together, and so we are more diligent in the day to day because we know that there is a prize at the end.

Tips for having a successful cheat day

  1. Plan ahead!  If you know that you are going out of town or have a special occasion coming up, use one of your cheat days there.  
  2. Cheat days should be used as rarely as possible.  Once a month is best, but absolutely not more than once a week.  
  3. Cheat days should only be ONE day.  Don't end up stretching them out into a cheat weekend.  
  4. When you do have a cheat day, try to get some good protein into your meal as well.  This will help keep you full longer and lower your carb and sugar intake.  (The above example of a barbeque place is great because we had lots of meat dishes to go with our starchy sides.)
  5. A cheat day is not an excuse to go bananas.  Whether you practice low carb or not, eating a whole pizza or a box of donuts in one sitting is probably not acceptable.  Think of a cheat day as an opportunity to have sensible meals that include breads, starches, and sugars.  
  6. Use the buddy system.  If you don't have a friend that you are doing low carb with, tell your loved ones that you are having a cheat day.  Get them to encourage you to make good choices.  Tell them that you need their support.  This is really key for me.  
  7. Try to get in some exercise, even if it's just taking the dogs for a walk.
  8. Drink lots and lots of water, and don't forget your supplements.  
  9. Don't mix cheat days with lots of alcohol.  A beer or two is okay, but if you're drinking enough to have very impaired judgement, you are more likely to go bananas (see number 5).  


Food Diary Saturday, May 19

1 C cottage cheese
2 slices Muenster cheese from the grocery store deli
1 cup coffee with
1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

1/2 C ranch sunflower seeds

2 pork medallions wrapped with bacon topped with
1/2 C sauteed mushrooms
4 asparagus spears
1/2 C sauteed spinach
diet Coke

Lots of water all day.  Probably as a result of drinking too much tequila the night before.....

Visiting Annapolis with awesome boyfriend and another couple.  We went on a haunted bar tour, so there was lots of tequila.  I usually drink tequila straight, either as a shot or over ice with some salt and lime wedges.  I also had one baby guiness shot, which I'm sure is loaded with sugar and I probably should have said no to.

Late Night Snack
I really wanted pizza but the gods intervened.  There was a 2 hour wait to get a 2AM pizza delivered- thank goodness because otherwise awesome boyfriend and I definitely would have devoured one.  Instead we each had about 1/2 C of ranch flavored sunflower seeds.

vitamin D- 1 with breakfast
B complex- 1 with breakfast
fish oil- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
fiber- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
L- Glutamine- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch
raspberry ketones- 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch


Food Diary Friday, May 18

hot flax cereal
Truth time.  This is one of
my guilty pleasures.  I've
cut way back on caffeine,
but I love these.  
1 cup coffee with
1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

1 Philly Cheeseburger
1 C bacon cole slaw

1 C cooked collard greens with
1 Tbsp hot sauce
2 ounces 1800 tequila with
2 lime wedges

1/2 C sunflower seeds
1 sugar free Rockstar energy drink
2 slices Muenster cheese from the grocery store deli

caesar salad, no croutons topped with
grilled shrimp
side of sauteed mushrooms
1 1/2 ounce vodka with soda water and 2 lime wedges

Lots of tequila and limes.  I won't go into details, but I was at the Latin Palace with a bunch of girlfriends until 2:00AM.  Good news is tequila has no carbs and I successfully avoided any sugary margarita mixes or juices.

2 eggs scrambled with
1/2 C sausage crumbles
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
seasoned with dry minced onions, chili powder, salt, and pepper
topped with 2 slices provolone cheese

  • So between all the caffeine, alcohol, and eating many snacks I probably didn't do so well yesterday.  This is another reason to limit alcohol intake.  It's too tempting to keep eating when you should probably stop.  
  • I did test my ketones this morning and they still look good, so I didn't knock myself out of ketosis yesterday, which is important.  That being said, I still had way too many calories.  


Food Diary Thursday, May 17

Super crunchy.  These make
for a great afternoon snack.  
hot flax cereal
1 C coffee with
1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

4 pieces of bacon
3 wedges of goat cheese
1/2 cup dry roasted edamame by Seapoint Farms
1 C Broccoli with Feta and Shallots

2 pieces of Muenster cheese from the grocery store deli
1/2 C ranch flavored sunflower seeds
16 ounce bottle Diet Dr. Pepper

1 Philly Style Cheeseburger
1 C Bacon Cole Slaw
1 glass iced tea sweetened with Splenda

1/2 of 1 Atkins bar in chocolate coconut

lots of water today

fish oil- 1 with breakfast
B complex- 1 with breakfast
L-Glutamine- 1 with breakfast
raspberry ketones- 1 with breakfast
fiber- 1 with breakfast

  • A note on low carb bars, ice cream, cookies, etc: If you absolutely have to satisfy a sweet tooth, these products are a much better choice than actual cookies and ice cream.  That being said, I try to stay away from these Frankenfoods in general.  To get to the super low carb count, these products subtract out sugar alcohols, and the jury is still out on whether or not those affect your blood sugar or not.  In addition, part of the idea behind low carb is to teach your body to quit craving so much sugar, and by feeding the cravings with sweets you are not doing that.

Bacon Cole Slaw

I love cole slaw, but I'm always scared to order it when I am out because sometimes it has added sugar.  I love both the vinegar and mayo based varieties, as long as they are crunchy.   A lot of times, pre made cole slaw from the grocery store has sneaky ingredients that don't fit into a low carb diet.  This recipe is low carb friendly and a perfect compliment to a cheeseburger.


6 slices bacon
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1/4 C water
2 Tbsp Splenda
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1 bag cole slaw veggies

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high.  
  2. Add bacon and cook until very crispy.  
  3. Set bacon aside to drain and cool on a paper towel.  
  4. Leave skillet on burner, but turn off heat.  The idea is for the bacon drippings to be warm, but not hot enough to caramelize onions.  
  5. Thinly slice onion.
  6. Add onion to skillet with bacon drippings.  
  7. Add vinegar, water, Splenda, and celery seeds to skillet with bacon drippings and stir with a spatula.  
  8. Add entire bag of cole slaw veggies to a large bowl.  
  9. Crumble bacon and add to cole slaw veggies.  You can also cut bacon with a knife if need be.  
  10. While still warm, add bacon dripping mixture to large bowl and toss until evenly coated with a rubber spatula.  
Enjoy!  Remember to measure your veggies.  A serving of this cole slaw is about 1 Cup.  Cole slaw veggies are really hardy, so this will keep in your fridge for several days.

Marzetti Roasted Garlic Italian Vinaigrette

This dressing rocks.  It is literally good on everything.  Normally I use it on salad, but it's also great as a marinade for steaks, chicken, or veggies.  At my grocery store they don't keep it in the salad dressing aisle with the regular dressings.  They keep it in a special spot by the produce with a few other choice dressings.  At around $4.00 it's a little bit more than a bottle of Hidden Valley or Newman's Own, but you will use it so much that it's worth it.

Some mornings, I put some chicken breasts in a bowl and throw this over top, and they are ready to go on the grill when I get home from work. It has just 2 carbs per 2 Tablespoons.  Most of my salads consist of 1-2 C of veggies and 2 Tbsp of this dressing is more than enough.  I have the best salad results when I add everything to a gallon Ziploc bag and shake.  I also like to use this dressing as a dip for raw veggies.  You can stir it up with some sour cream and have instant roasted garlic Italian veggie dip.  Add some pepper if you want an extra kick.

All of the Marzetti dressings are great, and a lot fit into a low carb diet, but this one is my favorite.

2 Cheese Philly Style Burgers

So messy.  Hope you brought your fork.
So here's the story.  If you've been following my ramblings then you will remember how excited I was about Atkins Revolution bread a few weeks back.  I've been eating burgers and deli meat off of a plate with a fork for years, and being able to have a bun again is a big deal.  Awesome boyfriend loves cheese steaks, so I decided to try to duplicate the cheese steak goodness minus the sub roll.  I originally had planned to serve these monsters on Atkins burger buns, but once I started making them I realized that we wouldn't even miss the bread.  There is so much substance to this meal and it's very customize-able to your own tastes.  We each had one of these burgers for dinner with a side of Bacon Cole Slaw and were stuffed and satisfied.

1 lb 80/20 ground beef
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
8 ounce sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium sized white onion
4 slices provolone cheese
1 C banana peppers
1 can easy cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

  1. Add ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to a large mixing bowl
  2. Mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until ingredients are evenly distributed.  
  3. Form ground beef mixture into 4 patties and set aside.  
  4. Preheat oven to lowest temperature setting.  (My oven doesn't have a 'warm' setting so for me this is 170, but ovens will vary.)
  5. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high.  
  6. While skillet is warming, slice white onion.  
  7. Add mushrooms and sliced onion to skillet and cook until both are soft.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  
  8. Transfer mushrooms and onions to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.  
  9. Reduce skillet heat to medium and add burger patties.  (Don't wash in between, the oil will help keep the burgers from sticking.)
  10. Cook burgers for 3 minutes on each side, or to desired level of doneness.  
  11. In the last 30 seconds that burgers are cooking, top each with a slice of provolone cheese.  
  12. Once cheese is melted, remove burgers from skillet and set on a paper towel to drain.  
  13. Transfer burgers to a plate.  Remove mushrooms and onions from the oven and use to top burgers.  
  14. Add easy cheese and banana peppers to burgers.  
  15. Enjoy!  
  • Remember to measure your veggies.  This meal is so hearty it doesn't need a side, but if you do have some cole slaw or a salad with it make sure that you stay around 2 C of veggies, including the mushrooms and onions.  
  • You can skip the cheese, mushrooms, onions, or banana peppers if you want.  Or add something else that you do like.  There are lots of possibilities.  
  • You could also cook these burgers on the grill.  If you do that, don't worry about warming the mushrooms and onions.  Just cook them while the burgers are grilling.  
Mushrooms and onions are almost done cooking.  

You can either pan fry these patties or cook them on the grill.  

We were rarely allowed to have this as kids, so I always think of it as a
forbidden food, but at about 1 carb per Tbsp it's not a bad choice.
And,  even my puppy wants some.  

Secret ingredient.  These are slightly spicy so go easy on them if you
don't like a lot of heat.  They're great on lots of things, especially cheese
steak burgers.