Steak and Potatoes (Cauliflower)

I keep seeing all these recipes for delicious cauliflower mash and every time I try to make them at home my cauliflower comes out lumpy or runny.  I finally got one together that I'm happy enough with to share, although I have to admit that it is still a work in process.  I've always been a big believer that you don't need a bunch of expensive kitchen equipment to be a great home cook and that includes a food processor, but this one might break me.  If anyone has advice on how to get creamy, smooth cauliflower mash without a food processor I would really appreciate it!

Anyway, this mash and steak night was yummy.  I found a massive ribeye at the grocery store that I pan fried and the awesome boyfriend and I were able to split.  Yum.  


Work Breakfast

When I first started working at my office I thought it was strange that everyone cooked their food.  I'm not talking about a microwave here although we do have one that gets used sometimes.  We have a hot plate and a toaster oven and people make gourmet meals in our tiny kitchen.

Now that I've been working at this job for about a year I have completely assimilated and grown to love my awesome work lunches, but it took some getting used to.  If I ever leave and have to go back to the land of sandwiches and microwaved leftovers I don't know what I'll do!

This omelette was made my sauteing mushrooms in olive oil and then setting them aside to drain.  Then I scrambled two eggs with some heavy cream and let them cook in a small pan until they were toasty brown on one side.  I added the mushrooms and a slice of American cheese to the middle, folded the whole thing over, and served with steak sauce.  How much better does this look than your microwave oatmeal?


Did someone say free audio books?

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I am in the midst of my last week of classes!  Don't celebrate too hard, it's not my last week ever, but it is the last week of this semester.  My professors this fall have been wonderful, but very demanding, and I am glad that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I spent most of this weekend working on a presentation that I'm making this evening.  It is awesome and worthy of an A, but I did get so busy tweaking it that I forgot to upload my pictures.  Fear not fellow foodies, because I do have something to say.  

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I just started reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, and it is AWESOME!  The characters are well developed and complex.  It has some dark parts, so make sure that you have your tissues handy, but there are several funny moments as well.  I hear that the movie was also good so maybe I'll check that out once I'm finished.

I want to mention that I downloaded this book for free from my local library.  In North Carolina, everyone who has a library card is eligible to download audio books and eBooks.  I imagine that there is something similar set up in other states as well.

You have to download a software called Overdrive Media to be able to access the audio book files.  You are allowed to download up to four at a time and after the lending period they will expire automatically and you can delete them from your computer.

To get started just stop by your local library and get a library card.  They will be able to help you navigate the digital library there.  Audio books from iTunes are generally around $25 so this service represents a huge savings for me.  I also like to listen to lighter, funnier things when I am working out.

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I'm also reading Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris, but that one is a paperback so I have it by my bed.  It is the hilarious memoirs of the time that he worked as an elf at Santa's Village at Macy's.  It's only about 150 pages so if you're looking for something light and quick to get you in the holiday spirit, this would be a good pick.

What are you reading?  I'm always looking for a new page turner.

I'm going to upload my pictures like a good little girl and return tomorrow with more delicious low carb recipes.  Until then, happy reading!

Leftover Dump: Burrito with Queso

Hey friends!  Remember the Low Carb Nachos from a few days ago?  Whenever I'm going to make seasoned ground beef for a dish I always make more than I need.  To make the nachos I browned the beef, drained it, and then stirred in a can of chopped green chilies and a packet of taco seasoning.  I was able to recycle the ground beef mix and the leftover queso for a stellar work lunch.

I started with a Low Carb, High Fiber tortilla  from La Tortilla Factory.  I added about a Cup of seasoned ground beef and topped that with a few spoonfuls of salsa from a jar.  Then I warmed the whole thing in the microwave and served alongside queso (also from a jar) and sour cream.

I like to flip through food and health magazines at lunch.  Today's read was Prevention, which I really like because it's small enough to fit in a purse and therefore gets to go lots of places with me.


Leftover Dump: Steak Salad

Are you noticing a pattern?  Everything is good over arugula.  A lot of these dishes that cook in their own sauces don't even need a salad dressing.  This steak salad was made with the last leftovers from the Steak and Tomato Saute from a few days ago.

I added a handful of arugula to a plate, then heated up the steak saute mix in the microwave, and topped with cheese straight out of the bag.  The cheese got a little melty over the hot steak.  I skipped the dressing on this one.

If you're going to make the Steak and Tomato Saute I highly recommend making a big enough pot to eat on for a few days.  I was able to turn this dish into several different meals.

Cranberry Peach Compote with Cream

I really like cranberries.  You can only find them fresh during the fall, which means that now is a good time to stock up.  There are something like ten bags in my freezer right now which will probably last me until around March.  At that point I will abruptly go into a cranberry slump until September when the cranberry fever will start again.

Seriously though, cranberries are one of the best fruits you can eat if you are following a low carb diet.  A whole Cup has only about 8 net carbs.  There are also endless studies that show that cranberries are good for our digestive system, liver, and cardiovascular health.

1 whole peach
2 C whole cranberries
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 C water
4 Tbsp Splenda

  1. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium high.  
  2. While the skillet is heating, wash the peach and cut into bite size pieces.  Discard the pit.  
  3. Remove cranberries from bag and rinse those as well.  
  4. Once skillet is hot, add butter and melt.  
  5. After butter is melted, add peach and cranberries to skillet.  
  6. Stir continuously with a rubber spatula.  
  7. Once cranberries begin to pop, add Splenda and stir until incorporated.  
  8. Once mixture begins to thicken, add water and stir.  
  9. Cook until cranberries have all popped and peaches have softened.  
  10. Top with whipped cream and serve hot.  Enjoy!
This recipe makes 4 servings at 6.5 net carbs a piece.  
If you skip the peach this recipe makes 2 servings at 9 net carbs each.  

  • The skillet has to be pretty hot to cook the cranberries, which means that you have to work fast or you'll burn your butter.  Normally I'm not in a rush when I am cooking, but I highly recommend that you get everything cut, washed, and ready to go into the pan before you add the butter.  
  • The peach is the most carb heavy thing in this recipe.  If you want to cut back, leave it out.  I make this all the time without the peach or the whipped cream and it's still delicious.  
  • If you're having a hard time gauging whether your compote is done or not, taste it.  Cranberries are extremely tart when they are raw.  If the mixture makes your mouth pucker, it needs to go back into the pan.  
I really want to like raw cranberries, but I just don't.  They're too tart.

You can see that the berries have started to cook down here.  

Fruit cooking down farther.  I added the water because it was
getting pretty sticky.  

The cream will melt down over the berries as it sits.  So yummy.  


Food Pyramids are Confusing.

Does anyone else remember this from the 80's and 90's?

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Lots of researchers believe that this diet has caused some of today's leading health problems including obesity and diabetes.  It's too much food!  Also, this is a direct link between processed flour and the high number of people living with Gluten sensitivity today. 

Today's food pyramid that is taught in schools isn't a pyramid at all.  It actually looks like this:
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This is a much better graphic than the one above, but it still isn't quite right.  Grains and dairy are loaded with carbs and hidden sugars.  As you all know, I am a strong believer that sugar is poisonous and should be avoided as much as possible.  

But what about this?  There...that's better.  
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This food pyramid is awesome because it focuses on farm raised meats and eggs.  These meats should make up the bulk of your daily calories.  High fiber vegetables are next, followed by healthy fats.  On a perfect low carb diet those three categories plus your supplements are all you need.  

For those of us that don't have that much willpower, there are also nuts and seeds, berries, and starchy vegetables in moderation.  Special occasions include a little bit of alcohol and there's even room for chocolate every now and again.  

The only thing I'd add to this pyramid is an extra foundation- lots of water.  Water is good for all of your bodily functions from digestive to respiratory.  It helps keep your skin looking good and helps you get out of bed in the morning.  Getting your 64 ounces a day is absolutely crucial.  

Still confused?  I hope this has helped but, as always, if you still have questions or comments send them to me at lifelovelowcarb@gmail.com, or leave in the comments field below.    

Leftover Dump: Turkey Roll Ups over Arugula

Remember the Cheesy Turkey Roll Ups I made in the slow cooker a few days ago?  Well they reappeared today in the form of a lunch salad.  Everyone in my office was super jealous when I heated this up because it smelled delicious.

I hate that this is blurry!  Why am I so camera challenged?  If you have tips please pass them along.  

I dumped a handful of arugula on a plate and heated the turkey and extra sauce up in separate containers in the microwave.  I layered the turkey over the arugula and poured the sauce over the whole thing.  I mentioned in the original recipe that the sauce is delicious and I will be making double of it next time.  It's good warmed over almost anything.


Daily Eats: Still loving poached eggs.

Trying to sleep here.....

Sunday is the best day.  I generally get up and walk the dogs then come back in and make a cup of coffee.  I bring my coffee, myself, and the puppies up to my giant king sized bed and we all cuddle with the awesome boyfriend while watching recorded Saturday Night Live from the night before.  It is absolutely one of my favorite weekend activities.

The poached egg kick continues this Sunday with yet another variation: poached eggs over arugula with a side of extra crispy bacon.  I tossed the arugula in some balsamic vinaigrette and I cooked the eggs a little bit harder than usual so things wouldn't get too runny.  The secret to getting bacon perfectly crunchy without burning the edges is to cook it low and slow.    The awesome boyfriend doesn't care for poached eggs much, which was fine because there was more for me!

If you're a new reader, welcome!  You can find directions for poaching an egg in my Steak and Eggs over Arugula recipe.


Groceries Wednesday, November 14

Purchased at Giant Food on Centre Park Drive in Columbia, Maryland.  

  • meatballs from deli: for lunch tomorrow
  • soup from deli: after work snack
  • onion: keep on hand
  • cherry tomatoes: for steak salad
  • Green giant creamed spinach: keep on hand
  • mushrooms: for steak salad
  • Arugula: for steak salad
  • Mrs. May's Cashew Crunch: keep on hand, great low carb snack
  • Steak: for steak salad

A word on hidden sugars, and how Pinterest is lying to you.

I was talking to a very funny and also health conscious friend of mine this morning, the Petulant Panda, about an issue that has been bothering me as of late and she wrapped the whole conversation up in a perfect bow.  I'm not sure how to give you all the bad news, so I'm just going to say it.  The internet is a factual wasteland.  Just because the internet says something is healthy doesn't make it so.  I know, it's hard to believe, but it's true.  Let me give you some examples...

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The fake healthy recipe that has been bothering me most recently me is the frozen banana ice cream. This recipe has been circulating around Pinterest for a couple of months and is generally accompanied by comments like, "My kids love this!" or, "I have this after dinner every night."  Those comments make me sad because I think that these are people who are really trying to do the right thing by substituting bananas for ice cream.  Bananas, peanut butter, and coconut milk all have calories and lots of sugar.  Eating 2 or 3 bananas in one sitting is not a super healthy snack and doesn't have enough protein to be a good breakfast.  You would be better off going for some frozen yogurt, especially if you can find a Greek yogurt version like Pinkberry that packs 7 carbs and a whopping 18 grams of protein.  

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Another fake healthy recipe that's been making the rounds is the
zero calorie apple cinnamon detox water.  Please hear me when I say that apples are not allowed on a low carb diet for a reason.  They are high in fiber, but they have a ton of sugar!  You can call this a lower calorie drink but zero calories it is not.  If you soak apples in water, some of the sugars are going to go into that water.  Common sense tells me that if water is sweet, there is sugar in it.   I know that some people just plain don't like regular water and are working to overcome that.  This recipe hurts my feelings because it's leading people to think that it's sugar free when it is not.  If you need flavor in your water, the juice of a medium lime has about 1 carb.  It's okay to add carbs to your water as long as you count them.  

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Lastly, the worst Pinterest perpetrator is the juicer.  I'll be the first to tell you that I have a juicer in my kitchen.  I love to make fresh lime juice for my vodka sodas and fresh lemon juice for when I'm cooking fish or veggies.  Sometimes I'll even juice a tomato, a jalapeno, a handful of spinach, and a couple of celery sticks for a spicy morning drink, and juice can be a great way to treat yourself.

However, when websites tell you that juicing is a great way to get your servings of fruits and veggies, they aren't being totally honest.  When you juice an apple, you are separating the fiber and the sugar.  Then you drink the juice (sugar) and throw away the rest (fiber).  You're ingesting the sugar and tossing the good stuff!  On top of that, you have to juice 3-5 apples to get a glass of juice.  Eating 5 apples in one sitting sounds crazy, but that's what happens when you juice.  Even juicing veggies is a nutritional sin.  One of the best things about kale and celery is the high fiber content.  Removing the fiber greatly degrades the nutritional content of these power foods.

The moral of the story is do your research before you take online recipes (even mine!) as absolute truth. The best way to calculate the nutritional content of a recipe is to add together the nutritional totals of the component parts and then divide by the number of servings.  Don't take for face value that those bananas you are mashing up are a wonder food, and if something seems to easy to be true it probably is.

Do you have a recipe that you are questioning?  Please leave a link in the comments below or email me at lifelovelowcarb@gmail.com.  I'd be happy to calculate nutritional values if you're not sure about something, and I'm always looking for things to test out in my own kitchen!


Daily Eats: Sunday is the best day.

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I studied for my undergraduate degree in English Creative Writing at  the University of Miami.  I had such a wonderful experience there and received a top notch education that well prepared me for graduate school.  I also made some life long friends.  Oddly enough, 8 of the girls in my sorority that I went through school with have settled nearby in the DC area.  I feel so fortunate to have some of my best friends from college so close by in my adult life.

Sunday all the girls went to a lovely brunch at Chartwell Country Club in Severna Park, Maryland.  The food was delicious and included eggs Benedict, poached salmon, asparagus, bacon, and a bunch of other yummies.  I also had a really tasty bloody Mary with a bunch of celery, olives, and pickled green beans.

After brunch I rushed over to our favorite watering hole, the Greene Turtle in Columbia to watch the football games.  I love the Greene Turtle because there are lots of low carb friendly things on the menu.  There is a Cobb Salad that I really like, the wings are pretty good, and the burgers are big enough to make a good meal without the bread.  Also, if your bartenders love you they will bring you lots of free peanuts.  Peanuts in the shell are a good low carb snack and help keep me from eating things like pizza and french fries.

After football the awesome boyfriend and I retreated back to our house to watch some Hulu and get ready for the work week.  Happy Sunday!  


Weekend Breakfast

I love, love, love weekend mornings.  One of my favorite rituals is to walk the dogs then come in and make a cup of coffee with lots of cream.  I drink it on my back porch in the sunshine while reading a magazine.  I get all warm and relaxed just thinking about it.  After I finish my coffee I make breakfast for the awesome boyfriend and myself.  This breakfast is nothing special.  It's actually pretty close to what I eat every morning at work.  It must be my pajama pants that make the difference.

In case you were wondering that bread is half of a deli flat and has around 6 net carbs.  You can find them in your
regular grocery store near the burger buns.  


I love my Mirena- Update: 5 Week Checkup

When I first decided to get an Intrauterine Device (IUD) I had no intention of blogging about my experience, after all, this is a food blog and has little to do with reproductive health.  After talking with friends and family I have come to realize that people are both curious and misinformed about IUDs in general.  I am by no means an expert, but seeing that I have one inside of me I changed my mind and decided to share.

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Let me back up to a few months ago when I was at a sports bar with awesome boyfriend eating dinner and felt a cramp building in my pelvic area.  It got so bad that I told him to cash out while I went to wait in the car.  Over the next 20 minutes the pain got worse and worse until we finally went to the emergency room.  Because I was throwing a fit they rushed me straight back to a bed and took some blood, but after that we waited about an hour to be seen by a doctor.  Over the course of that hour the pain gradually subsided and by the time they got me back for an ultrasound it had faded almost completely.  The docs didn't find anything and they sent me on my way.  (Lesson learned, if you make a big enough scene in the waiting room of the ER they will send you to a room to wait in a bed instead of out front.)  The same thing happened three more times over the course of about 8 weeks.  I did not go for any more emergency room visits, rather, chose to wait out the pain at home, and every time it gradually subsided.

After visiting multiple gynecologists that all told me here was nothing wrong with me I finally found one that diagnosed the pains as uterine muscle spasms.  Read: menstrual cramps.  You'll understand that my first reaction was, 'Lady, you are crazy.  I know what menstrual cramps feel like and these ain't them.'  After further discussion about my less than fastidious birth control habits (I forget to take my pills about twice a week and then have to double up the next day) she asked me if I had ever considered getting an IUD.

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The thought of having a piece of plastic inserted into my uterus freaked me out a little bit, plus I've been on birth control pills for more than a decade and change is hard.  The good doctor explained to me that the IUD is small and flexible and that after a few days I wouldn't even know it was there.  She also told me that these painful muscle spasms could be my body's way of telling me that it did not appreciate my haphazard birth control schedule, and could we please try to get it together?

I went home to sleep on it, did some research, and called my insurance company.  Joy!  The IUD itself and the insertion were 100% covered with a $10 copay.  The good doc had advised me to think about getting either Mirena or ParaGard, with the main difference between the two being that Mirena containes hormones and ParaGard is hormone free.  I'll be honest and tell disclose that some of the reading I did said that the ParaGard insertion can be painful and cause heavy bleeding that's the main reason I didn't choose it.  I'm a weenie when it comes to those sorts of things.  I scheduled the insertion for a Thursday and took that day and the next off of work, thinking that worst case scenario I would have cramps and lay on the couch, and best case scenario I could catch up on housework and studying.

Awesome boyfriend drove me to the appointment and I was feeling pretty nervous when I checked in.  I won't go into details about how the gynecologist actually inserts the Mirena, but the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals produced an animation that you can watch here if you are curious.

So small, you won't even notice it's there.
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The good doc had me lay back while she put a topical numbing agent on my cervix, which felt weird but not bad.  The actual insertion was the most intense pain I've ever felt in my life, and I was not prepared for this.  My eyes started watering, and fat tears rolled down the side of my face.

The good news is that the hot flash of pain was quick, maybe about a minute, and then it subsided.  The bad news is that the pain was quickly replaced by nausea when the room started spinning.  I told the nurse that I was going to vomit and she and the doctor made me lay down and drink some apple juice.  I did not end up vomiting and about a half hour later awesome boyfriend appeared to walk me out to the car and take me home.

I felt pretty bad the rest of the day (cramps, nausea, headache) and ended up staying in bed and sleeping.  I also felt bad the next day, but good enough to open my eyes and watch some Glee on my Kindle while laying in bed. Saturday I finally dragged my pitiful behind into the shower, and by Sunday I was mostly back to normal.

Now, on to why I am such a happy patient.  I did not bleed at all during or immediately after my insertion.  In fact, I have had almost no bleeding since having my Mirena inserted and that was three weeks ago.  The better news is that I have not had a single cramp or headache in three weeks.  The good doc advised me that some women who use Mirena stop having periods all together and I am hoping against hope that I am one of those lucky ones.  The very best news is that I am free from the shackles of my birth control pills for the next 5 years.  No more birth control alarm going off in the middle of class or dinner.  No more forgetting to bring my pills on my vacation and then my period comes.  No more having to use a back up method of birth control because Kelly forgot to take her pills again.  No more monthly visits to the pharmacy.

If you're thinking about getting an IUD I highly recommend that you do as much research as you possibly can, and talk to a gynecologist that makes you feel comfortable.  I am so happy that my doctor advised me to get one because I am feeling good and not spending my precious time worrying about my lady parts.  There are tons of articles and video diaries online where real users are detailing their experiences, and that is a great way to get an idea of what to expect, and to make yourself feel more comfortable.

If you have questions feel free to leave them in the comments below or, if you want to remain anonymous, email me at lifelovelowcarb@gmail.com and I will do my best to answer them.  If you're in the Baltimore/DC area and looking for a wonderful gynecologist to talk to, send me an email and I will pass along info for the one that I have been seeing.  She is awesome, and won't make fun of you if you are a big baby like me.

Update 11/9/12 : 5 Week Checkup

After you've had the Mirena in for 5-6 weeks, you have to go back to the gynecologist so that she can make sure everything is where it is supposed to be.  I watched lots of frightening YouTube videos where people's IUDs had migrated up into the uterus and I am so grateful that I don't have anything like that to share.

I took some Motrin about 30 minutes before my appointment this time just to be safe.  The good doctor got me up in the chair and took a look to make sure everything was okay.  You can imagine my horror when she told me that she couldn't see the strings.  She told me not to worry, that sometimes they can get curled up into the cervix.  She tried to tease them out with a tool but couldn't find them.  She sent me across the hall for an ultrasound and I promptly started to freak out.
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The good doctor came into the ultrasound with me and told me to relax, that this was a small thing that happens from time to time.  Having an ultrasound when you're not pregnant is a little weird, but not unpleasant.  After a few seconds of searching we found the IUD and (hooray!) it was where it was supposed to be.  I quickly calmed down while the nurse took some pictures and added them to my file.

It's possible that the strings have curled up into my uterus.  It's also possible that my doctor cut them too short in the first place, or that things have shifted a little and they're just not long enough now.  Either way, everything is fine and my IUD is good to go for 5 more years.  I will have to have an ultrasound every year during my annual exam just to double check that the IUD hasn't moved.

The real issue with the strings not being visible is the removal.  Normally when the Mirena is removed, it is pulled out by the strings.  Because that is not an option for me the doctor will have to remove the Mirena manually during an outpatient surgery.  This will require me being asleep while she dilates my cervix to be able to get in to remove the Mirena.  There's no cutting involved or anything like that, so the recovery time for this procedure is minimal.

All in all I'm still extremely happy with my IUD.  I know that the idea of having an implant is not for everyone and I totally get that.  The convenience of not having to mess with birth control pills far outweighs the negatives for me.  Also, the cost savings are tremendous over the course of 5 years and that is always good news.  I haven't had any more abdominal pains since the Mirena was inserted about 6 weeks ago and that is the best news of all.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to send them along to lifelovelowcarb@gmail.com.  I'm happy to help you get the answers you need or to give you more details if you want them.

Low Carb Margarita

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I mentioned in my post about sugar that one of the things I miss most during low carb is a happy hour margarita.  Restaurant margaritas are always a bad choice because the mix is loaded with sugar.  If you're in a really high end place they might make the margarita mix in house with fresh limes, but even then they are probably adding simple syrup with is mostly (you guessed it) sugar.  I like to make margaritas at home, especially on a sunny afternoon.  I am sharing my secret recipe with you all.

1 packet Crystal Light Margarita Mix
4 limes
1 1/2 ounces tequila
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier


  1. Add 2 quarts of cold water to a large pitcher.  
  2. Add one packet of Crystal Light Margarita Mix to water and stir with a wooden spoon.  
  3. Cut limes into wedges and squeeze the juice into the pitcher.  Stir again with wooden spoon.  
  4. Fill a 16 ounce pint glass to the top with ice cubes.  
  5. Pour tequila and Grand Marnier directly over ice into glass.  
  6. Fill remaining space in glass with Margarita Mix.  
  7. Pour entire contents of glass into another glass to mix.  
  8. While glass is empty, dip rim into margarita salt.  
  9. Pour contents back into original glass and serve with a straw and a lime wedge.  
Best enjoyed in the sunshine with friends!

  • Most household pitchers are two quarts.  I generally don't measure my water as this is not an exact science, but if you want to feel free.  2 quarts = 8 Cups.  
  • Crystal Light Margarita Mix is one of my favorite low carb tricks.  The mix also comes in Mojito and Appletini flavors, although I have not tried those.  I'm suppose I'm a traditionalist.  
  • Salt or no salt?  I prefer salt, and if you do too I recommend picking up a small tub of margarita salt.  It's flat and wide so that you can stick your glass right into it instead of having to pull out a plate to dump some table salt on every time.
  • My favorite tequila is called Herradura and you'll recognize it because there is a horseshoe on the bottle.  If I'm strapped for cash I buy Jose Cuervo Silver, which is also good.  
  • The half ounce of Grand Marnier will have about 3 carbs, so if you're close to your limit you can always leave it out to cut back. 
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You should be able to find this at your local grocery
store with the other powdered drink mixes.  

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The juice of one medium sized
lime has about 1 carb.

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That's the good stuff.  

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Daily Eats Thursday, November 8

I cooked a Garlic Parmesan Stuffed Squash in the toaster oven at work today!  So much better than a cold sandwich.  While it was baking everybody kept poking their heads in my office telling me that it smelled delicious.  Note: don't bake garlic in a toaster oven unless you want people around you to start salivating.

Before class I grabbed a salad with a friend.  There's not a lot to eat on campus, but we do have a Subway.  I generally just get whatever foot long is $5 and ask them to put it on a salad (half spinach, half lettuce).  This one was a cold cut combo.  I got a Coke Zero on the side.  Power food helps me stay awake during my very long 6-9 PM Thursday night accounting class.

For dinner the awesome boyfriend had a hankering for steak so I stopped and picked up a ginormous Ribeye that I marinated and pan fried.  We split it in half and had some cheesy broccoli on the side.  I just used the cheesy broccoli that steams in the bag, and added a little more shredded cheddar on top.  

This stuff has 4 net carbs per one cup serving, and it cooks in 5 minutes in the microwave.  It's a good side dish when you don't feel like making a big dinner production.  You can find it, or something comparable, in the frozen veggie section of your grocery store.  I usually keep a bag on hand to pull out in a pinch.  


Daily Eats Wednesday, November 7

One egg for breakfast, goat cheese salad for lunch, bring on the dinner!

Pan Fried Ribeyes, Spinach Stuffed Acorn Squash, and a Cranberry Compote for dessert.  Low carb bliss- awesome boyfriend and I were stuffed like turkeys.  

Creatine Questions Answered

Let me first say that injectable steroids are dangerous, especially when used without the supervision or a medical professional.  Let me also reiterate that I am not a doctor or certified health professional and that you should always talk to a medical professional before making any changes to what goes into your body.  Now, on to the good stuff.

Performance enhancing supplements have been getting a bad rap as of late, largely because of abuse by so many of our professional athletes.  If you are competing in something and using drugs to cheat, shame on you, but that's not what I'm talking about here.  Creatine is a supplement that can be purchased over the counter and is safe for public consumption.  Creatine is found naturally in the skeletal muscles, heart, and brain.  Increasing the amount of it in your body will allow you to work out longer, and with a heavier weight load.

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Anyone who wants to increase their lean muscle mass can benefit from taking Creatine supplements.  This is true for both men and women.  Creatine is most often sold in a powder form and can be mixed with water or into a protein shake.  Most people who take oral Creatine supplements are consuming between 5 and 20 grams per day.

I've included some links to articles that will dispel some of the myths out there about Creatine supplements.  I highly encourage you all to educate yourselves and if you've hit a weight loss plateau then this may be something you want to consider.  Increasing lean muscle mass means that your body is burning more calories not only during your workouts, but all day, even when you are asleep, and this can really help if you've hit a wall.

Educational Resources regarding Creatine:

Top 17 Creatine Questions Answered
Creatine Side Effects: The Truth About Creatine
Is Creatine a Safe Supplement?
Creatine Myths and Facts

I've also included a video from Axis Labs about how Creatine works in your body at a molecular level.

If you have additional questions feel free to leave them in the comments below or to email them to me at lifelovelowcarb@gmail.com and I'll do my best to get you the answers you need!


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: Sweet and Savory Versions

Pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite things about fall.  This year we hosted the pumpkin carving party which meant that we ended up with enough seeds to feed a small family.  I split them with another party guest and still had enough to keep me chewing for several days.  I made one sweet batch and one savory batch.  They were both delicious and addictive.

Sweet Pumpkin Seeds Ingredients
1 egg
1/2 C Splenda
2 C pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp salt

Sweet Pumpkin Seeds Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  
  2. Add egg, Splenda, chili powder, cinnamon, and salt to a large bowl and stir with a fork until all ingredients are incorporated.  
  3. Add pumpkin seeds to mixture and continue to mix with a rubber spatula until seeds are evenly coated.  
  4. Spread pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet.  Pumpkin seeds should be in one layer, not stacked on top of each other.  Use two baking sheets if necessary.  
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, removing to flip with a spatula once half way through.  
  6. Seeds should be crunchy.  If they are still soft, bake for another 5 minutes.  
Savory Pumpkin Seeds Ingredients
2 Tbsp olive oil
2  C pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp crushed red pepper
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/4 C dry minced onions

Savory Pumpkin Seeds Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  
  2. Combine olive oil, salt, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, cumin, and dry minced onions in a large bowl.  
  3. Add pumpkin seeds to mixture and stir with rubber spatula until pumpkin seeds are evenly coated.  
  4. Spread pumpkin seed out on a baking sheet.  
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.  Pumpkin seeds should be crunchy and golden brown when finished baking.  

  • When you clean your pumpkin seeds you should remove most of the pumpkin flesh, but washing is not necessary.  It's okay if a little of the pumpkin is still hanging around.  
  • The sweet pumpkin seeds will take a little longer to cook because of the egg.  If you're baking them together like I did make sure to keep an eye on the savory ones so that you don't overcook them.  
  • Pumpkin seeds will keep for several days in your fridge.  If you're not baking them right away just seal them in a Ziploc bag.  

I wish I could show you how big this bowl is.  It's about 4 pumpkins
worth of seeds.  

I got around to roasting about 3 days after we carved.  Seeds kept
well in the fridge.  

Egg and Splenda.  It's okay if the sweet mixture seems a little runny.
Just do your best to get the seeds evenly coated, but it doesn't
have to be perfect.  

Chili powder, cinnamon, and salt are an unlikely trio but they work
well in this recipe.  

Seeds with egg mixture.  

Seeds with egg mixture spread out on baking sheet.  

Sweet seeds and savory seeds removed from the oven for flipping.
This is super important because the exposed side will crisp much
faster than the bottom side.  

The minced onions create a strong flavor in the savory recipe.  Bring on
the bad breath, but so worth it.  

The egg helps all of the spices hold onto the seeds in the sweet recipe.
I wish I could send you smells over the internet because the whole
house smelled like pumpkins and cinnamon.  It was amazing.