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 The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine  
 
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 5 Ways to Beautiful Skin
 Make It Low Carb!
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  The Low Carb Connoisseur




 
              Make it Low Carb! by Joan Hedman

          "The future belongs to people who see possibilities before they become obvious.."
                                                                         Ted Levitt
   

Do you eat to live, or live to eat?

Like laundry, dishes, death, and taxes, there's no escaping food. We have to eat. The presence of food in our lives is inescapable. We have to eat the right things, at the right times, or else we suffer the consequences.

For example, I get extremely grumpy when I get hungry. I have late afternoon dizzy spells if I skimp on lunch. I've had hangovers from eating too much far more often than I've had them from drinking. And if I eat the wrong things, my digestion kicks up for at least two days, warning me never to do it again.

It's not just me, though — obviously. Our entire society is programmed by the Tyranny of Food. We always want more, or at least the fast food establishment seems to think so as they've moved beyond "want fries with that?" to the twin questions, "try a combo meal today?" and "wanna supersize it?" Restaurant meal portion sizes have grown beyond all sense, too. In an effort to give more value to their customers, they keep increasing the amount of food they pile on the plates. Seriously, who needs a one-and-a-half pound steak or a one pound baked potato?

Having eaten more, we then turn to the drug companies for comfort. Heartburn sufferers nationwide rejoiced when a popular prescription treatment went "OTC" and can now be purchased, at warehouse clubs no less, without the advice of doctor. I'm old enough to remember Alka-Seltzer's "I can't believe I ate the whole thing," commercials, which were funny because we had all been victims of our own indulgences; we could sympathize. Nowadays, that ad campaign wouldn't fly: eating "the whole thing" isn't an occasional splurge, it's a way of life.

Why is that? Because for 30 years now, the low fat diet mantra and the grain-heavy USDA Food Pyramid have been pushing carbohydrates to an extent that interferes with many people's insulin metabolism. They eat more because they are hungry all the time. They're hungry all the time because of all the carbohydrates they eat. It's a vicious cycle, but fortunately there is a way out.

Controlling carbohydrate intake is the first step. But those carbohydrate calories have to be replaced with something, right? One of the biggest complaints I hear about maintaining a low carb diet is that it's monotonous. "I'm just so sick of eggs for breakfast, and meat and salad for lunch and dinner."

It can even get to the point where the thought of eating one more egg is enough to make you want to skip breakfast altogether. That would be a bad idea though, because if there is one common theme recurring in every low carb diet plan out there, it's that you have to eat to be successful at it. You're trying to reprogram your metabolism here. If you start skipping meals, your body will think you're trying to outlast a famine and will hold onto every calorie you eat. So you have to eat, and eat often enough so that you don't get hungry.

So, what do you eat when you have no idea what you want to eat, but you know you don't want eggs? You want something quick, hot, tasty, and legal, with no weird or hyper-expensive ingredients. Does such a thing even exist? You bet it does! Don't be afraid to give this a try:

Breakfast

Serves 1, usually

  • 1 egg
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey or soy protein powder
  • sweetener to taste
    (usually 1-2 packets of Splenda granular, or 1 or more Tbsp of sugar free syrup)
  • flavorings to taste: sugar free vanilla extract
    [read the label], cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder ?
  • extras, to taste: 1-2 tsp sugar free jam, a few blueberries or raspberries, chopped nuts?be careful not to go overboard here, as all the extras add to the carb count
In a small microwave safe bowl, soften the cream cheese slightly by microwaving for 15 seconds or so, depending on the power of your microwave. Break the egg into the bowl, and stir it into the cream cheese. Stir in the protein powder, and mix well so there are no clumps of dry powder. Add your sweeteners, flavorings, and extras. Microwave on high power for 1 to 2 minutes. You want it to be cooked but not "fried"; when it's done, it will be set throughout. Cooking time will vary depending on how shallow your dish is, whether you are using liquid or powdered sweetener, and how many extras you've added in. Experiment!

Some popular combinations are:
  • vanilla sugar free syrup or vanilla extract and Splenda, with cinnamon
  • apple pie spices with bits of chopped apple, or dollops of unsweetened applesauce
  • pumpkin pie spices with a 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened pureed pumpkin
  • sugar free cherry syrup to make a "cherry cheese Danish"
  • a tablespoon each of cocoa powder and unsweetened peanut butter
Some popular toppings include butter, maple syrup, sugar free jam, and softened cream cheese sweetened with Splenda or sugar free syrup. Toppings can go a long way in mitigating any dryness.

Note: Many people enjoy this recipe without the protein powder, which admittedly can make it a bit dry. However, for breakfast, it's important to get adequate protein to start off your day. One egg and 2 ounces of cream cheese give you about 10 grams of protein, which is probably only about half of what most folks need. If you're looking for a quick, complete breakfast, don't skip the protein powder, or make a double batch!

That's it for this edition, but have you checked the MakeItLowCarb Mailbag recently? You can send your recipe conversion requests and other questions to joan@lowcarbluxury.com. Responses to reader questions may be featured in an upcoming column, so keep 'em coming!

                                                

Copyright © May 2004  Joan Hedman and Low Carb Luxury
Title and inset photos Copyright © 2004  Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury




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