Monday, September 21, 2015

I'm not Super Woman After All

I almost died last night! 

Ok, so I didn’t almost die, but I could have. The day started out like any other day. I got up, took the dogs out to say hello to the day and to pee of course. Came back in and dressed and did my Leslie Sansone walking video. I texted my sister that it was time for coffee and headed to the kitchen to make coffee. 

Lisa got there and we had coffee with mom. We showed Lisa all the treasures we had found the day before at the Goodwill and gave her a few surprises we had bought for her. Toward the end of the coffee klatch I started feeling a little bit dizzy. The room would spin and when I looked at my mom or Lisa they would kind of float left to right or right to left. I thought it was odd but put it to the side because I had a lot of stuff on my “to do” list. 

Lisa left and I put in a load of laundry and went outside and got the little step ladder because one of my “to do’s” for the day was to scrub the walls in the bathrooms. You know how they get icky after shower upon shower and then when the new cooler was installed a few weeks ago a lot of lint and other yuck got stuck and it was looking horrendous and I just can’t handle that. 

So I got up on the ladder with a warm bucket of soapy water and a dizzy head and fell to scrubbing and scrubbing. I was concerned about the dizziness but as women are wont to do I soldiered on because I’m an idiot! 

I finally got one bathroom done and then realized it was ridiculous to continue using a ladder due to the dizziness, so I put it away and told my mom I was done because I felt a little dizzy. She had made some breakfast burritos so I had one thinking maybe I was just hungry. Just so you know, I un-wrapped it and just ate the stuffing; the tortilla is not worth the carbs! 

As I sat there eating my burrito my right arm started hurting, aching. I thought that was weird because I had mainly used my left arm to scrub the walls but took an Aleve and tossed in another load of laundry. My arm started hurting more and more. So badly that I could find no position to place my arm in that did not give me unbearable pain and I started to get nauseous and had to throw up. 

So I did what I do anytime something is difficult in my life, I took a nap. It was hard finding a good position, but eventually I realized if I laid on my right side with my arm straight out and my head on my arm I was comfortable enough to sleep, so I did, for about an hour. 

When I awoke I immediately tried to get up and couldn’t! We have a bug in Arizona that we called a “pinacate”, also called a Desert Stink bug. When you turn this little bug on its back it struggles with its legs and arms flailing to turn itself over….and that is exactly how I felt, flailing with no results. I had to text my son to come and help me up. 

Up to now I had not told anyone how bad the pain was so he was shocked that I was holding my right arm to my chest and in tears. Then my sister called and I told her about the dizziness and the shakiness and the nausea and the pain in my arm and she immediately said it sounded like a heart attack. My sister…she always turns to the worst case scenario. I told her no, because it was my right arm, if it was a heart attack my left arm would hurt. 

We hung up and she called back immediately as she had consulted with Dr. Google and Dr. Google said heart attacks in women have different symptoms than heart attacks in men and she read me the symptoms which sounded exactly what my symptoms were. I told her we better head to the ER room.

Since I had planned to spend the day cleaning and doing laundry I had not bothered with make up or doing my hair and though I tried to “pretty up” it was a struggle just to brush my teeth. Mom had to make a ponytail for me. My mom had not made me a pony tail since I was a child. Needless to say she was out of practice! I cried while I changed into a clean shirt and shorts and just put on a ball cap! 

We headed to the ER. The great thing about thinking you are having a heart attack is that you become a priority in the ER. You don’t have to sit there with other sick people for hours. The bad thing is they quickly did an EKG and said it was not a heart attack, my blood pressure was great, and so they sat me on a bed in the ER room until they had a chance to take some x-rays to find out why my arm and shoulder hurt so badly. 

Another bad thing is x-rays, especially when you are in excruciating pain and you have to maneuver your arm in different angles to get a good view, but I’m a soldier and did what I had to do…and then we waited and waited and waited. The x-rays were taken at 5:27 pm and we didn’t get to speak with the doctor until 9:24 pm! 

While the results were not as horrible as a heart attack, it was still not great news to hear that I have Bursitis. Bursitis in my right shoulder and Sciatica in my left leg! I think it’s time to put this old horse down, I’m just a mess! 

They gave me a shot of Tramadol for the pain and some Prednisone tablets for the inflammation, and a prescription for some more meds. If you know me you know that I HATE to take meds. I have to be dying before I even will take Aleve, now I have more meds I will have to take daily. 

It sucks! It makes me realize I am getting old. I can remember my mom and dad sitting at the kitchen table on Sunday night sorting out their pills for the week in a little plastic box like this one. 

It’s just sad to realize I am at that point. It’s also sad to realize that I can’t just scrub walls like I did in my 20’s and 30’s, I have to slow down and some of the chores that need to be done will have to wait or just not get done at all. I’ve always hated to depend on anyone and preferred to do it “my way” before and now I will have to rely on someone else to help and to be happy with the way they do it. 

I know, look on the bright side and be happy it wasn’t something more serious like a heart attack, be happy that you didn’t fall off the ladder which you insisted getting on like a moron when you were dizzy, but it’s hard to realize that you’re human and that you’re body is going to start rebelling. In my mind I feel like I’m 22 but my body sure doesn’t feel that way!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

How to Low Carb While Camping and Enjoying a Girl's Weekend

This weekend was a girl's camping weekend that had been planned for several months. 

I'll be honest...I had been dreading this weekend. Not because I didn't think I would have fun, oh I knew there would be lots of fun involved in a camping trip that included my sister Lisa and our friend Lupe. I was dreading trying to stick to a Low Carb/High Fat way of eating while not being at home where I have all my special foods and snacks available. 

But necessity is the mother of invention and I succeeded in making this a LCHF WOE weekend without too much of a struggle.

We left after work on Thursday evening and stopped at McDonald's before we got to the campsite. I had two McDoubles without bread or ketchup. Just the meat, cheese, pickles, onions and I added jalapeno because hot stuff is in my blood! We got to the campsite, unpacked, set up and then just talked girl talk until about 1 am.

Friday morning we awoke bright and early to the scent of the coffee my sister was brewing. Nothing better than the smell of coffee at the beach! Lupe had brought some Almond Biscotti to have with our coffee. 

I love Biscotti. Love how sweet and soft it gets when you dip it into your coffee. But just one Biscotti has 18 net carbs. I try to eat only between 20 to 24 carbs per day, so to eat one cookie that has 18 is just out of the question. Luckily the day before I had purchased a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bar. One whole bar has 3 net carbs. The WHOLE BAR has 3 net carbs. It was so rich and delicious that I cut that bar in three pieces and enjoyed for two mornings and one evening. Was it Biscotti? No. But was it enjoyable and satisfying? YES!

We had several errands to run so we got ready and headed out. We stopped for breakfast at a cute little coffee shop called The Pantry on Park in Santa Maria. I figured I would just have a couple of eggs and bacon. Easy-peasy. But I was intrigued by the sound of a Bell Pepper, Onion, Ham and Egg Scramble. 

asked the waitress what I could have instead of the hash browns and toast. She offered sliced tomatoes, cottage cheese or fresh fruit. I opted for the tomatoes and the fruit which consisted of sliced bananas, pineapple, cantaloupe and strawberries. I took out all the strawberries and put them on my plate (strawberries are lower in sugar) and offered the rest of the fruit to my sister Lisa and Lupe to share. It was one of the best breakfasts I've had in a long time!

For dinner that night, Lisa and Lupe decided to have the Fish and Chips dinner at the clubhouse of the RV park we were camping at (yes, we were at a fabulously comfortable RV park in a beautiful RV home; that is as "roughing it" as I get).

Breaded Fish and French Fries are definitely not a low carb option. Luckily my beautiful, loving mother had packed us some of her homemade Chile Verde. She roasts Anaheim chile's and dices them very small with some tomato and salt, at this point we call it Chile Macho. Then she takes some steak and cuts it into bite-size pieces and browns it and then adds just a spoonful of flour to thicken and adds water and the Chile Macho and it turns into beautiful, delicious Chile Verde! 

Normally I would eat this with a tortilla, but again, those days are gone as I don't eat flour or wheat products. So instead I took about two cups of raw coleslaw mix, fresh out of the package and placed it in a bowl. Then I heated up the chile verde and poured it on top. The coleslaw gets a little softer but it's still crunchy and with the chile verde it tastes like a nice little vegetable soup. It was very filling and soothing and I didn't miss the fish and chips at all, even though they looked very good.

That night we headed over to a little club downtown where they have live music and dancing. We had a great time dancing and burned a lot of calories. All three of us love to dance! So ending this day I realized I had eaten some pretty great meals and stuck within my allowable carb count...not bad and so easy.

Saturday morning we had the same ritual of having coffee and I had another piece of my Quest Bar with my coffee. We had decided that Saturday was going to be a relaxing day. No plans. We played the game Sorry, we worked on a puzzle, we walked to the beach, we read our books and we talked. When I got hungry I boiled some eggs and made some guacamole. 

Lupe and Lisa joined me in eating eggs and while they had corn tortilla chips with their guacamole I had Mac's Salsa and Limon Pork Rinds with mine. They tasted it using my pork rinds and they both agreed that it actually tasted better than using the tortilla chips! I had also taken along a jar of green olives stuffed with I said, hot stuff is in my blood!

We decided to play another game called Quarters. It's a drinking game. None of us are very big drinkers, but I had taken along a bottle of tequila so we bounced quarters into a shot glass and whoever got the quarter in the glass that person would choose who would take the shot. It was fun and after we started to get too giggly we decided to stop and take a walk instead. Well Lisa and Lupe took a walk, I did my favorite thing and took a nap...a well deserved nap!

Later that evening for dinner we all just wanted salad. We went over to the local Vons store and purchased some salad in a bag and some chicken breast from the deli and made the best Asian Chicken Salad that I have ever had. Or maybe it was the rough day of camping and drinking that made us so hungry, but it was delicious!

We had just what we wanted, a day of rest, relaxation and recharging! We had coffee late in the evening while we sat outside. Lisa and Lupe had purchased some cream cheese danish at Vons and I had bought some strawberries and cream cheese. I heated about 4 ounces of cream cheese in the microwave for about 20 seconds, added cinnamon and some Splenda and used it as a dip for the strawberries with my coffee. 

Sunday we awoke bright and early. I was all out of Quest Bar so I ate the rest of the strawberries with the cream cheese dip for breakfast with my coffee, it was so good! I warmed up the dip and it was like having strawberry cream of wheat, very soothing and satisfying.

We packed up all our stuff and remarked on how is it possible that we were taking more stuff home than what we brought with us? I think that's just how camping and/or vacations are. We were starving by the time we packed all our belongings and made the beds and prepared the RV for the RV fairies to come and take it away and place it back in storage. 

By the time we did all that we were hungry and I told the girls that we should go and eat at a cute little place on the pier at Avila Beach called Fat Cats Cafe. It's a cute little restaurant where you can look out at the ocean while you eat either inside or on their patio. We ate inside.

I had a Bacon and Avocado Omelette. It was served with hash browns and toast but my waitress was awesome and recommended again either cottage cheese or tomatoes and again I had the tomatoes. My omelette was so huge that I could only eat half and brought the other half home with me.

On the drive home we stopped at a convenience store for snacks. I bought some peppered beef jerky and sunflower seeds and that is what I ate on the road trip home.

I noticed that this weekend my sister Lisa and our friend Lupe joined me in eating low carb quite a bit. Maybe I have some low carb buddies in the making.

So...a trip that I was dreading because of my new Way of Eating turned out pretty great. We had fun together and I was able to eat LCHF. It took a little planning and having the courage to ask our server for other options. 

I'm glad we went, I'm glad that my sister and Lupe encouraged and supported me on my WOE and I'm glad that I didn't look at this as an excuse to cheat or to stray from my WOE. It gives me the strength and determination to continue on! Plus I had a fabulous time with Lisa and Lupe. Let's do it again real soon ladies!


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Low Carb - 3 Ingredient - Coconut Macaroons

Oh the sweet crunchiness of Coconut Macaroons! I have always loved them, but I've never made, let alone thought to see if they could be made low carb.

Most of the regular recipes I read said to use sweetened condensed milk, some called for honey, but both of those ingredients are packed with sugar. I found a great 2 ingredient recipe for Macaroons at the blog Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth. She used just sweetened coconut and egg white.

I just happened to have recently bought some unsweetened coconut and thought to try it with the egg white and add 1 more ingredient, Stevia sweetener. Because I was using the additional 1/2 cup of Stevia I used 2 egg whites instead of one. 

They came out amazing! Not as pretty as Rabbit Food's but still very light and fluffy and so sweet and crunchy!

Here's the nutrition facts for 24 servings. Very low in carbs! Yes!

I will definitely be making these again!

Recipe - 24 Servings

2 egg whites
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup Stevia  ***see edit tip below***

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet. I lined it with foil and sprayed it with cooking spray, you could also use parchment paper.

Place egg whites in a bowl and whisk them until white and frothy, they don't have to form stiff peaks, they will still be liquid. Add the Stevia and Coconut and mix gently until completely blended.

Using a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon scoop out the mixture pressing against the side of the bowl to solidly pack the mixture then turn out on the cookie sheet. They don't expand so you don't have to leave a lot of room between them.

Bake for about 10 minutes. If you like you can place them under the broiler for a bit to darken the top but I rather like them light on top and browned on the bottom. Then enjoy!

**Editing Tip - Brought these to share with a co-worker and she told me the Stevia left a bad aftertaste. I did some research and some people do experience an aftertaste using Stevia. When I tried it last night I immediately brushed my teeth so didn't have the aftertaste experience. I ate one today and it wasn't pleasant. Next time I make these I will either completely use Splenda which makes each cookie about 1 carb or I will mix 1/2 Splenda and 1/2 Stevia and see how that is. ***


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Lemon Almond Meal Shortbread

This is the 2nd post I wrote for the new blog that never was, Low Carb Thrills. It was a good idea, but just not for me. Enjoy!


There are so many great cooks and bloggers out there that have jumped on the low carb wagon. So if you want to make something, just google that item as a low carb alternative and you will probably find something terrific.

I was hoping to find a great recipe for making Snickerdoodles so I searched my Sweets and Treats Pinterest Board and found 6 recipes for cookies. I read over each one and found that most of them use Almond Meal and fortunately I had some.

I combined several of the different ingredients and came up with a Lemon Almond Meal Shortbread.

2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup granulated Stevia
1/2 cup of butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract (I added this at the last minute because I love the scent of lemon & vanilla together)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
     I let the butter come to room temperature but you can place it in the microwave for a few seconds just to soften it, you don't want it totally melted. 
     In a medium sized bowl I combined the butter and the Stevia and creamed those together, then I added the almond meal and both the extracts and combined them until they formed a dough.

***Tip...At this point it would be a good idea to wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes. I didn't do this and it was difficult to roll out the dough.***

     Roll out the dough to amount 1/4 inch thickness and cut with a round cookie cutter or whatever shape floats your boat.
     Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, I ended up with 20 cookies and bake for 10 minutes at 350. I broiled the tops of mine just to make them a bit crispier.
     These aren't very sweet and they are very crumbly, but they are a good little cookie to have when you get a sweet tooth. I placed mine in a plastic container in the fridge and I plan to take them with me on a camping weekend coming up.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Low Carb Thrills, Not a New Blog

I have been kicking around the idea of starting a new blog just for my low carb lifestyle. I was going to call it Low Carb Thrills. I created a banner and got it all set up and below is the first post, but all day long it bugged me. I felt like I was cheating on my poor little Titere con Bonete. It just doesn't feel right so I'm going to continue with this blog and delete the other. Anyway, below is the first post from my new blog that is now just the 852 post of my old blog. One thing about me, I am loyal and hate to forsake an old friend. I feel better!


On July 14, 2015 I decided I was finally done with feeling miserable about my weight. With hiding my body under loose clothing, with trying to find loose clothing. I was miserable with heartburn at night and having an upset stomach almost every day. I was miserable with having my knees hurt, with never knowing when Sciatica was going to hit. Face it...I was just plain miserable!

I won't say exactly how much I weighed, but let me just tell you I am only 5' 1" tall and it was way too much weight to be carrying for someone as tiny as I am. 

I am really embarrassed to have typed that previous paragraph. How could I ever have let myself get overweight again? Especially since in 2013 I lost 22 pounds and was riding my stationery bike 14 miles per day? I could waste time making excuses but the time for excuses is over, it's time for action!

Since July 14th I've been following a new way of eating or WOE for short. This is not a diet or a gimmick, this is a new way of life for me. I know that I'm not doing this in the short term to fit into some dress or to look good for a special event. I am doing this so that I can live a healthy and happy life and to ensure that I am not a burden to my family due to Diabetes or High Blood Pressure or a Stroke or any one of the multiple diseases that can occur when you are overweight.

This new WOE is Low Carb/High Fat or LCHF for short. A LCHF diet means that you eat fewer carbohydrates and a higher amount of fat. Simple. I minimize my sugars and starches. This means that I can eat as much as I need to feel full and satisfied and still lose weight.

There's a science to it for those of you that needs facts and scientific explanations. You can find more information at How It Works at or at LCHF for Beginners at the Diet I know there will be some people that don't agree with this WOE and will tell me it's dangerous to eat the amounts of fat that I do or to cut out certain fruits and vegetables the way I do, but all I know is this works for me. It helps me to lose weight, I feel healthier. I can sleep at night without heartburn or heart palpitations (yes, I was getting those and they scared me to death and I believe it was caused by drinking diet soda which I've cut down on almost completely).

I've also started exercising on a regular basis using walking videos by Leslie Sansone. I love Leslie, she is so motivating and down to earth. I don't feel like I have a drill instructor coaching me but just a loving friend that wants to see me succeed.

My favorite workout with Leslie is the 1 Mile Express which boosts your metabolism in a short workout that takes about 15 minutes. I do this workout 3 times per day and I recently purchased her DVD Walk to the Hits - Party Songs. I love, love, love her.

I was completely sedentary up until July 14, so I started doing just a 5 minute workout in the morning before work and then 5 minutes again at my morning work break, 5 minutes at lunch and 5 minutes at my afternoon break. That was 20 minutes per day. Not a lot, but it was a start. The point is to just start. If you can only do 2 minutes (which in the beginning that was all I could do) then just do 2 minutes. Wait a couple of hours and do 2 minutes more, gradually build up your endurance.

I'm happy to say that to date I've lost 13 pounds. 13 pounds in about 8 weeks. That's a little more than 1 1/2 pounds per week. You have no idea how happy typing those 2 sentences makes me feel, or how proud I am of the fact that I've lost this weight and that I'm exercising frequently and that I feel great!

I will be posting often and sharing pictures of what I eat and recipes and meal plans and how to eat LCHF in restaurants and all manner of LCHF WOE hints and tips. You can get my updates by email, just subscribe on the sidebar.

I hope that my success will help you to change your WOE to a healthier way, whether it's LCHF, Paleo, Gluten Free, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and the myriad other weight loss programs out there. I know that LCHF works for me, but no one program works for everyone. So just get started! No more excuses! Take care of you because if you aren't healthy then you can't take care of those that you love and even worse, you may become a burden to them, and no one wants that!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Low Carb French Toast Egg Puff from Sugar Free Like Me

You know how ants love sugar? Well my mom has ant blood in her. She loves sweets! She's also very lucky that she's 5 foot 6 inches tall and has the metabolism of a jack rabbit so she never gains a pound no matter how much or what she eats!!! She's been that way all her life!

Every Saturday and Sunday morning my sister comes over for coffee. It's our time to catch up on the week we just had and to spend time with mom. We've gone through so many things together during our coffee klatches, some good, some bad but always together and I am so grateful to have both of these women in my life.

My sister inherited my mom's sweet tooth and for the past few months when we get together they share some cookies or lemon cake or donuts with their coffee and I just sit there with my coffee feeling sorry for myself because I don't eat sugar due to my low carb/high fat way of eating. 

Earlier this week I found a great low carb blog, Sugar Free Like Me! The first post was about 20 Days of Easy Low Carb Breakfasts! The first breakfast feature was just what I needed in my life! Low Carb French Toast Egg Puff! I'll be honest and let you know that I didn't get any further than this recipe but I will definitely be heading over to see what else Jessie has shared once I'm done with this post.

So this morning I really quickly just tossed this all together following her recipe...she makes it super simple! She mentions using Torani sugar free vanilla syrup, but I didn't have any. I did have however a bottle of Jordan's Skinny Syrups sugar free Coconut syrup, so I added that and it was fabulous! 

Yesterday afternoon I had a craving for something sweet so I mixed about 4 ounces of Cream Cheese with a dash of vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon, along with half a teaspoon of Splenda to make an easy low carb dip for some fresh strawberries. I had some left over and just slathered some on to my french toast since I didn't have any sugar free pancake syrup (but I am picking some up soon).

It was so delicious. I was worried that it would taste eggy since the recipe calls for 2 eggs and 2 ounces of cream cheese to be mixed with the sugar free syrup, but it really, truly tasted just like french toast. I think next time I may make it like Jessie has posted then fry it in a pan with a bit of butter to see if it might get a bit crispy around the edges...hey, it's worth a shot.

But now, when those sugar ants are having their cookies and cake in the morning, I can have this. It's a mere 2 carbs with probably another carb for the cream cheese frosting. Not bad at all!

Sticking with a low carb way of eating is so much easier because of people like Jessie that share their recipes and tips and idea. I'm proud to say I've lost 13 pounds! I'm pretty jazzed about that!

So I'm off to see what else Jessie has come up with. If you have a chance, please visit her blog, Sugar Free Like Me!