Saturday, August 22, 2015

Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Dinner and Dessert on a Low Carb Way of Eating

The great thing about my Low Carb/High Fat (LCHF) way of eating (WOE) is that you don't ever have to be hungry. 

With LCHF I try to stick to 10 to 24 carbs per day. Once I get to 24 carbs, I can still eat, as long as I eat foods that have zero carbs. There are several things I can eat that have zero carbs, see a list of those things here

My usual routine in the morning is to prepare and drink my morning coffee at my desk at work. To my brewed black coffee I add 2 tablespoons of half and half creamer, 1 teaspoon of Splenda and 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil. Coconut Oil helps me to get healthy fats into my diet and it also makes my coffee taste delicious and it fills me up until around 10am when I have my morning break and when I eat my breakfast. 

On days when I'm feeling lazy or I just didn't have time to prepare breakfast I drive through Mcdonalds and buy an Egg McMuffin with the Canadian Bacon. The McMuffin as is with the english muffin is 27 net carbs. I throw away the muffin and just eat the egg, canadian bacon and cheese. That drops the carb count to 4 net carbs. 

But most of the time I fry myself two eggs each morning and put them in a plastic container and I heat them up at work at 10 am and eat them with some bacon, or slices of ham. Sometimes my coworker and I share food and she made some egg salad last week which I ate alongside with my bacon.

Along with the coffee with coconut oil and these yummy breakfasts I don't even feel hungry in the morning. I also drink at least 44 ounces of water which helps to curb hunger as well.

Lunch is my favorite time of the day because I can eat so many different things.

I don't always have time to prepare lunch, but that's ok because you can create a super easy lunch. Go to your local grocery store and buy a package of ready made salad mix and buy a roasted chicken breast at the deli and you have a yummy Chicken Salad.

Another easy lunch and/or dinner is a Quarter Pounder with Cheese from McDonalds, just ask them to leave the bun off. With the bun and ketchup this sandwich has 39 carbs. Without the bun and ketchup (ketchup has sugar so I avoid it) it drops down to 4 carbs!!! Amazing right? We never realize how many carbs we eat per day.

During my afternoon break we sometimes get coffee from Starbucks. My coffee of choice at Starbucks is a Venti Breve Latte with One Splenda. I recently found out that it contains 25 carbs, so I'm having to switch and it's not easy because I really loved that coffee. I've been having a Grande Iced Sugar Free Vanilla coffee made with HWC (heavy whipping cream) which brings the carb count to 3 net carbs. But I do miss my latte!

When I don't have the coffee I sometimes eat a string cheese or some luncheon meat. 

Dinner can vary depending on whether I go out to dinner or my mom cooks or I cook. But either way I have a great dinner and I am never hungry!

I've also had to eat out a few times in the past few weeks. Sometimes I will just order a salad, but you don't have to just settle for salads.

This week I celebrated my son's birthday and we went out to dinner at a new restaurant in Bakersfield, Johnny Garlic's and then I went out to dinner with my sister on Friday and we ended up at Chili's.

I'm not a big fan of sweet, so when I do get a sweet tooth I usually have some strawberries.

I'm really looking forward to Fall getting here so that I can start trying out some of the low-carb recipes that I have been saving on my Pinterest Low Carb Thrills Board!

But so far, so good. I've lost a total of 10 pounds but the most important thing is that I can tell that I'm healthier, I feel lighter and thanks to the on-going walking exercises I feel stronger.

The weekends are hard for me, but so far I haven't strayed and that just gives me the incentive to keep on going.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

When It Rains It Pours

When it rains it pours This week definitely started out with a bang…and some smoke! 

Sunday afternoon our house suddenly filled with smoke. I was in my bedroom watching TV and blogging when my daughter came running in and said, “The roof is on fire!” I quickly ran out while she was on the phone calling the fire department. I got outside and into the backyard and my son was on the roof already with a water hose hosing down our swamp cooler. The motor had caught on fire! Thank goodness the smoke alerted us. 

By the time I got to the backyard I could already hear the fire truck sirens. I believe one of our neighbors must have seen the fire and called them because they were on their way before my daughter called them. 

Shafter PD was the first to arrive and the two officers quickly ran inside to make sure no one was inside. I thought it was weird that they opened the doors to all the rooms and I didn’t understand until later that they were making sure no one was inside in case the fire was worse. 

Then the fire department arrived and they quickly got on the roof and told my son to get down in case the roof collapsed or worse, yet they stayed up there. They were up there in full gear, boots and jackets and hats with tanks hanging on their backs in 105 degree heat! I wish I could have thought to take a picture but I had left my phone inside and they wouldn’t let us go back into the house until they were sure it was safe. 

So yes, our swamp cooler motor caught fire and I don’t know if you know anything about swamp coolers, but they cool using these pads that surround the fan and there’s something to do with water and evaporation and lots of other technical things that provide cooling into your house. I have no idea how it actually works all I know is that ours is kaput and went out in a blaze of glory! 

And…as if that was not enough, Sunday was the beginning of a heat wave in our neck of the woods! Seriously it’s been over 100 degrees every single day and Monday was 109! So here we are, with no type of cooling system and a heat wave on the way! 

I have a small window air conditioning unit in my bedroom, so I was ok, but the rest of my family had to scatter to the winds. My mom went to stay with her sister and my daughter went to stay with my brother’s family, along with our sweet little puppy Chorizo. My son chose to stay and tough it out at home. 

Monday morning it was time to start shopping around for a new swamp cooler. Swamp coolers work very well in the dry heat that we have. There are maybe 3 or 4 really humid days per year where it is useless so I opt for a cooler rather than an AC unit because of the savings. My cooling bill is around $130 a month whereas a friend of mine pays $400 to $600 a month since she has an AC unit. I think we can suffer through 3 or 4 humid days and just be comfortable instead of cold the rest of the time. 

The biggest problem is that no one is buying swamp coolers much anymore so they are not as readily available. There are just two companies in my area that everyone referred me too. One was Econo Air and the other was Floyds Stores. Mom and dad had always bought their cooler at Floyds but I figured that since Floyds is a small town hardware store they would be much more expensive than a big company like Econo Air. Wrong! Econo Air was $2,020 more than Floyds for the exact same unit! That is just crazy. 

Then this morning I set up the appointment for Floyds to come out on Friday morning and do the install and I asked the billing lady if she wanted my bank info or a credit card and she said, “no, it’s ok, just give the installer a check when he comes out or if you want you can pay by the invoice I am sending you in the mail.” Who does that anymore? Who doesn’t worry about collecting money first? I didn’t need to give them 1001 personal and financial details; they just took my word for it that I would pay the bill! Floyds is my new go-to store for anything from now on! 

Because of all the stress my Sciatica kicked in this morning with a huge painful twinge to my left “ahem” buttock. That’s why I say, "when it rains it pours"! But I made it to work and I’ve still been doing my exercises at work during break and lunch, just not pushing myself. So my little family will have to stay scattered to the winds until Friday when we can all be reunited. 

The Shafter Police Department and the Kern County Fire Department have my eternal gratitude for being so quick and helpful and patient. My thanks also to Floyds Stores for continuing to be the home town hardware store they claim to be on their advertisement…bigger isn’t always better.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How We Celebrate A Birthday!

Today is my son James birthday, Happy Birthday Son!

Since his birthday fell on a Wednesday we decided to celebrate a little early and he and I took a day trip to Santa Barbara, California on Saturday, to try to escape the heat of the valley. It was supposed to be over 100 degrees! Santa Barbara was around 83 but I still managed to get sunburned!

Santa Barbara is very close to us, only around 2 1/2 to 3 hours away. The drive is very pretty and traffic was minimal this time around but sometimes it does get a little bumper to bumper in spots. 

Our destination was Stearns Wharf. There's great parking there at $2 an hour and it's centrally located. The best part about walking around in a beach town like this is watching the people, that's always entertaining. I forgot to take pictures of this one man that has claimed his little spot on the beach and he does sand art for donations. 

We walked on the pier and I was able to talk him into taking a selfie with me. He is so much taller than I am! It's hard to believe that I made that human being! Last year I wrote about how he tried to come into the world butt first so I had to have a C-Section, you can read that post here

By the time we finished looking around the pier and people watching it was time to head to find someplace to eat. My favorite place in Santa Barbara is State Street. There are tons of shops and little bars and coffee houses and restaurants. I love to go to the Sandbar Restaurant and have a margarita and some chips and salsa, but since it was the birthday boys choice he wanted to go to Joe's!

Joe's Cafe is a very popular restaurant and bar in Santa Barbara since 1928. I had never been there but enjoyed my visit very much. It was very clean and the food and service was great!

I was also able to stick with my LCHF (low carb, high fat) WOE (way of eating). Instead of having a sugary margarita, I had a glass of Ruffino Prosecco which was only 3 carbs! Oh and not to take away from this being my son's day but I am now 10 pounds lighter!!

There were so many great choices. I decided to have the BLTA, which is a Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado salad, with ranch dressing. It was delicious and plenty of bacon! I estimated my whole lunch with my drink was about 13 carbs. It was a bit of a splurge but it was a special day and a special meal.

James had their BBQ Pulled Pork topped with Cole Slaw on a fresh baked roll. I admit here and now that I took a bite of the BBQ pork, just the pork, not the bread! I couldn't resist, but I didn't touch the fries! It was so delicious. I'm sure the BBQ was carby because of the molasses or honey or sugar they use. It could have used more coleslaw but that would be my only suggestion.

After that great meal we walked around looking in the little shops along the way. We didn't buy much, to me Santa Barbara is a little pricey but it was fun to wander and watch the people.

We finally headed back to the car and I had promised my sister I would find the Ablitt House and take some pictures, so Lisa...this is for you, we will have to go on a day when they do the tours.

We had a very nice day and it had been a long time since my son and I had taken a car trip together. So Happy Birthday son and I love you to the Moon and back!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Kitchen Organization - Just Start Small

Last week Lynn of Traveling Low Carb invited us on Facebook to a kitchen organization party. I obligated myself to join in. Then life happened. I forgot it was my son's birthday weekend and I had promised him a day trip to Santa Barbara on Saturday. 

But it's never too late and I was feeling really guilty about letting Lynn down and even though today is going to be 106 degrees outside, I was feeling energetic and decided to clean and organize my little bakers rack that my son gave me for Mother's Day one year. It's sort of a catch-all.

As you can see the drawers are just stuffed with junk and bills and little bits of paper. I store all my bowls here and because they are so close to the floor they tend to get really dusty. We all know that when we use one of them we have to wash it before we use it, but if a visiting friend or family goes to get one they probably think I'm a slob! 

Close-up of the drawers. I found cookbooks, warranties for appliances I don't even have anymore, photos, garden gloves, picture hanging materials, screwdrivers...all kinds of random items. And see, someone thought this would be a perfect place to store hamburger buns! I tell you...a catchall!

Here's some of the stuff I pulled out. I used to be addicted to buying those little recipe books that are at the checkout area. My little impulse buys. But I don't think I've ever actually made anything from any of these books and now that I'm low carb I know I never will so it was time to clean house and I put about 50 of them in a bag to go to Goodwill.

Here's the bakers rack all cleaned out. I went after all that wrought iron with soapy water. It was super dusty. Sorry it's sort of leaning, I must have been tired already! Oh and FYI, while I was doing all of this I wore my iPhone because it tracks my steps. While doing this I logged in 1,027 steps!

And pictures during...

The kitchen table covered in bowls, books, mom's radio and little odds and ends...

The dish drainer with some of the bowls I've washed and set aside to dry...

And the other side of the sink with more bowls washed and ready to be dried and put away again...

Here's a picture of all the items that I'm taking to Goodwill tomorrow. I am so my mother's daughter. She just walked by and said "You're going to throw all this away!", and then she started going through everything!

Here are the finished drawers, quite a bit different right?

Drawer one. I only kept the cook books for low carb and that little broken key chain of my son sitting on Santa's lap years ago :)

Drawer two. I organized my mom's Cd's as she likes to listen to music while she putters around in the kitchen in the morning. 

And here is the completed bakers rack. Organized and dust free! I put the bowls my mom uses on the very top so she can reach them easier without bending down. I had to leave her radio there, that was non-negotiable! She also had a beautiful set of cornflower blue Corningware, so now I'm displaying it next to my pink KitchenAid mixer that my daughter bought me several years ago for being a Cancer Survivor!

Here are the before and after. Doesn't seem like much difference until you see it side by side. I even cleaned all that clutter that was next to the rack on the right side.

Mission accomplished! I'm going to go and post this on Lynn's Facebook page and now I think I've earned a nap!

Happy cleaning everyone!


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Frazier Park Fiesta Days - Small town fun!

We decided this weekend to get out of the valley heat and head up to the mountains. Frazier Park was celebrating their 48th annual Fiesta Days and we thought we would head up the mountain and check it out. 

Picked up my sister and noticed how beautiful her Arizona Plant is this year. It's huge and just gorgeous and I am so jealous!

Her plant gets sun constantly and these types of plants love the sun. My plant is next to a huge tree and it doesn't get but a few hours sun a day so it's no where near as pretty as hers. I'm going to have to move it next year.

So we left Lisa's house and headed to pick up our friend Connie who went with us and headed towards Frazier Park which is about 45 minutes south of Bakersfield.

We found the park and we were surprised how nice an event it was. The weather was great, about 77 degrees with a nice breeze. It wasn't too crowded and they had lots of great vendors.

One vendor had what she called "hand made sandals" for $20 and we all bought a pair. I really don't think they were hand made but they were adorable! I bought a red pair even though they weren't practical and I can't wear them with everything, but I just loved the way they look and red is my mom's favorite color.

There were also lots of food vendors. I was a bit worried about going because I wasn't sure what I was going to eat. They had Kettle Korn which is something that I always buy, but I didn't. They had regular yellow corn on the cob with lots of different toppings, but it is filled with carbs and something that is not on my list of foods I can eat.

Finally I decided on a Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog. I requested it without the bun and they were nice enough to put it in a little cardboard tray and then they added onions and bell peppers. It was delicious and minimal on carbs. Where there's a will, there's a way!

We walked around the whole event twice to make sure we didn't miss anything. I also purchased some green olives stuffed with jalapenos and they are delicious. I'm sure I will be eating them often throughout the next few weeks when I am craving salty chips!

My gorgeous sister Lisa bought a flower garland. I should have taken a picture from the back as it had long curling ribbon trailing all the way down her back. She looked so cute!

She also took this great picture in a real race car. Those things are hard to get in and out of!

After a great time we decided to drive around the small town and see what it was like. Lisa made me pull over because she wanted to get a picture of a "tin man". It was kind of cute that most of the houses had home made decor like this. It was a very quaint little city.

So all in all we had a fun time, we all now have cute shoes and great memories and then today I got to see Baby J and I had bought her a Little Nemo Bubble Gun and she loved it and me for buying it for her :)