Exogenous ketone supplements: Do they work?

I tried Pruvit a while back and ended up with such a Pavlovian response to the taste that I could not continue.

In the “diet” world, especially low-carb and it’s “keto” offspring, there are always questions about ketone producing supplements.

I ran across this current article and wanted to share it:

Diet Doctor: Exogenous ketone supplements: Do they work?

Interestingly, the verdict on their un-official, very small test group was a big “NO”.

Personally, I found adding a teaspoon each of Kerrygold butter and MCT oil to my coffee or tea (dubbed “bulletproof coffee”)yielded similar results, and I didn’t gag at the thought of drinking it.

Even on lower calories and moderate carbohydrates, since I don’t typically eat breakfast, I found the “bulletproof” coffee, in the teaspoons added, did not seem to effect my weight loss.

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I Decided I NEEDED A New Kitchen Gadget

Ok. I admit it: I am a kitchen gadget junkie.

There are 2 stores that cater to my particular addiction: Amazon and Best Buy.

Best Buy has a “deal of the day” email where you can get 50% or more off of items they sell, and many times those are kitchen small appliances.

My new toy: a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

Now, before I complain about the cost, I will say that I have purchased many stand mixers over the last 7-10 years, ranging from $35 to $70 and, without fail, each HAS failed, usually due to internal plastic parts. So if I look at it logically, I’d have spent less in total if I’d just bought the Kitchen Aid first(and yes, this reasoning works on my husband lol).

Another benefit: He can get me attachments for Christmas! See: win-win!

Now the reason I’m writing this blurb isn’t about the mixer itself, but a specific attachment: the Vegetable Sheet Cutter . Revolutionary if you’re wanting to add more veggies to your meals in a sneaky fashion.

I’ve only used it to sheet cucumbers (and rolled tuna salad in them as a wrap -worked fantastic!); and zucchini, of course. The recipe below is a pasta fake-out using zucchini sheets instead of pasta.

Never fear, if you don’t have the sheet cutter, just use a vegetable peeler and make as wide of slices as you can, then make a lattice pattern to form sheets.

Rolled Ricotta Florentine Manicotti-ish (makes 4 servings)

  • 8 oz part skim ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese – softened
  • 2 oz finely grated Parmesan cheese (the green can is fine)
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained until it’s very dry then finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2T (about 4 leaves) chopped fresh basil -optional
  • 2 zucchini sheeted or 4 zucchini using a vegetable peeler as described above
  • 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce

Make the zucchini “pasta” first and places on paper towels to drain just a bit.

You want enough to make 8 rolls about 5-6″ long each.

In a mixer or by hand: mix the cheeses, eggs, basil if using, and salt and pepper well. Mix in the spinach until it’s well distributed. *While this recipe does not call for bread crumbs, you may need a little more Parmesan if it’s too wet.

Preheat oven to 350f. Spread 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan and spread it around in a thin layer, it will barely coat the bottom but that’s all you want.

I find it easiest to divide the filling into 8 servings to start with, then fill and roll each sheet and place, seam side down, in the pan. Repeat until you’ve made 8 rolls.

Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly (5-10 minutes) for the filling to firm up before serving.

*If you make your own sauce, or a meat sauce, make sure it’s very thick because the zucchini will give off some moisture when it bakes.

**If you like, sprinkle some shredded mozzarella on top 5 minutes before removing from the oven.

Book Review: Eat Clean, Lose Weight & Love Every Bite

Meh.

Ok the details:

The book is a collaboration with Wendy Bazilian(DrPH, RD) and Prevention magazine.

$31.95 is pretty steep for a book, in my opinion. It’s a hard cover book, there are photos of the recipes, but only in a center segment, not with the recipes.

The first 95 pages are devoted to the plan outline, a pretty extensive shopping list, before and after bio stories, “good versus bad” foods, and the usual.

They push organic, grass fed, free range, etc -which is not unusual.

Unlike a lot of “clean eating” plans, this one does include beans and whole grains, nuts, milks and cheeses.

There are about 180 recipes according to the cover (I didn’t count) but none of them are “ooh I’ve never seen that before” types.

Overall, I feel like I paid $32 (about the cost of 2 grass fed sirloin steaks, organic fresh green beans and organic zucchini with grass fed butter) to learn that you should eat: grass fed steaks, organic veggies and grass fed butter.

Is it anything eye-opening: no.

Are the recipe unique: no.

Would I recommend it: nope. You can find all this info for free by searching pinterest and google blogs for “clean eating”.

eclw

Tropical Treat Yogurt Dessert

I try to limit my “fake” foods, but sometimes you just need something to “hit the spot” for that sweet tooth.

There are thousands of variations of this recipe out there, but this is my personal Summertime favorite.  It’s just very refreshing and revitalizing.

Tropical Treat Yogurt Dessert

3 servings @ 3WW Freestyle points per serving; 4 servings @ 2 points per serving

  • cup Fage Total 0% Plain nonfat Greek strained yogurt, plain
  • medium banana(s), chopped roughly
  • container Dole Pineapple Tidbits, in 100% pineapple juice (4oz. cups)
  • 1package(s)fat-free sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix, Or cheesecake flavor
  • 1tsp coconut extract, optional
  • Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • Instructions

    • Pulse the banana in a food processor a few times to start breaking it up.
    • Add the yogurt, extract if using, liquid from the pineapple cup (approx 2 tablespoons pineapple juice) and pudding mix.
    • Blend well, adding in a little water or almond milk if needed if it’s too thick.
    • Transfer to a bowl and fold in the pineapple and nuts.
    • Refrigerate for 30 minutes and enjoy.

**I’ve made this, and other yogurt based treats, using baby food fruits. They’re uniquely portion controlled, high quality and readily available year around.

Blueberry Scone-iscuits (kind of a scone, kind of a biscuit texture)

Scones are pretty much impossible on Weight Watchers due to the amount of butter needed to get the right texture.

This is my version that’s denser and not as “tender”, more like a biscuit. I’m sure there’s a technical baking term for it, but I have no idea what it is lol.

Blueberry Scone-iscuits (kind of a scone, kind of a biscuit texture)

Makes 8 servings @ 4 Weight Watchers Freestyle points per serving or 6 servings @ 5 Weight Watchers Freestyle points each

  • 2 cups all purpose flour + 1 T for dusting hands
  • Tbsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • packet(s) Splenda Naturals Sugar & Stevia sweetener blend, or 4 tablespoons sweetener of your choice
  • 1cup(s)Plain fat free Greek yogurt
  • cup (s) unsweetened frozen blueberries, thawed and patted dry or fresh, washed and patted dry
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • Tbsp fresh lemon juice, Optional juice plus zest of 1 lemon
  • 16spray(s)I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Original spray, 2 sprays per piece
  • tsp sugar, for sprinkling on top, optional
  • Tbsp butter, melted
  • Preheat oven/toaster oven to 375f.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Sift dry ingredients except the sugar; mix yogurt, vanilla, and lemon juice and zest if using.
  • Toss the 1T flour with the blueberries.
  • Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients and blueberries, kneading as lightly as possible to pat it into about an 8″ circle on the prepared pan.
  • Using a sharp long knife, or pizza mezzalune, cut the dough into 8 equal “pie” pieces and move them slightly apart so they can spread a little when baking.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then spritz with the butter spray(or brush with melted butter) and sprinkle with the sugar and bake an additional 3-5 minutes.
Notes

You can substitute low-sugar craisins and orange juice/zest in this for a cranberry orange variation.

The Butter spray adds no points, the butter is 5 points for 1 tablespoon, so zero per serving. Use either option.

 

Cauliflower “Rice” Southwest Salad

Summer and salads go together well. Cool, refreshing, easy to make, meal prep favorites.

This is my spin on a rice salad with a Southwest spin that can be eaten chilled or heated. I prefer it chilled because it’s an easy go-to topped with grilled chicken or steak.

Cauliflower “Rice” Southwest Salad

Makes 6 @1 WW Freestyle point per serving

  • 12oz bag frozen cauliflower, thawed and riced (I use this method for super easy ricing)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed to remove excess salt
  • 1 can sweet corn, drained
  • 1 jalapeno (to taste)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • cilantro to taste, chopped finely
  • 2T lime juice plus the zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground cumin (to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional, adds 1 WW Freestyle point per 2 servings)
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional: 1/2 teaspoon chili powder)

Once the cauliflower is riced, drain it very well then microwave for 3 minutes, stir and drain again.

In a food processor pulse the onion, jalapeno and garlic until finely minced.

Toss everything together and refrigerate for 1 hour to blend flavors, up to 5 days.

Avocado Bean Dip or Humm-ish

We all know the nutritional value of an avocado: healthy monounsaturated  fats, a good amount of fiber, over 20 vitamins and minerals, a great source of natural potassium and it tastes great.

On Weight Watchers Freestyle, avocado comes in at 1 point for 1 ounce, and 7 points for 5 ounces (the amount I use in this recipe).

Picking an avocado takes a little knowledge. Here is a good primer to make sure you get a ripe, but not over ripe, fruit.

Avocado Bean Dip or Humm-ish)

This entire recipe is 7 weight watchers freestyle points, but use common sense because it is a calorie dense food.

  • 5oz avocado (this was 3 small avocados for me)
  • 15oz can great northern beans*, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/2 a small jalapeno (or more, to taste)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt*
  • 2oz water (this is simply to thin out the dip, use more or less as needed)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 lime, juice and zest (about 2T juice)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin or 1/4 cup cilantro*

Start by placing the beans and jalapeno in a food processor and pulse to start breaking up the beans.

Once they look a little like a coarse meal, add everything else except the water and pulse, scraping down the sides occasionally, and adding water as needed, to reach the consistency you prefer.

Refrigerate at least an hour to let the flavors develop.

*I like great northern or white kidney beans for the creaminess they give this, and the color of the avocado comes through. Any bean you like will work: pinto, black beans, even lima beans.

*I use McCormick Coarse Grind Garlic Salt With Parsley because I like the flavor and that it’s more garlic than salt in taste.

*I am not using fresh cilantro currently due to yet another food borne illness outbreak possibly associated with cilantro.

 

Eating Less At Night

You may have heard the saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” by well-known American author and nutritionist Adelle Davis.

I’ve been experimenting with this eating pattern since I tend to snack in the evening.

You’d think eating a lighter dinner would be counter intuitive, but I’ve found that I have no urge to nibble at night, other than a carrot or small piece of cheese.

I should say that I don’t seem to have the craving for salty snacks at night.

I rarely eat breakfast, usually just coffee with half and half, so that puts a lot of caloric pressure on lunch to carry my day.

Even on Weight Watchers, this pattern does work.

I use olive oil, real butter, mayonnaise, half and half, nuts, avocado, beef, etc to get my calories up while having a light dinner.

A typical day this past month has been things whatever I made for dinner the night before for my family or something  like chicken salad(with real mayo!) or eggs scrambled in butter or mashed with avocado, full fat yogurt topped w/chopped walnuts, sardines in olive oil, you get the picture.

Then dinner is simple: grilled chicken breast (3-4oz) with a side salad or veggies; a small sandwich; vegetable chicken soup; a couple of hard boiled eggs with a light string cheese and a sliced cucumber; a light low-carb pita with turkey breast and tomatoes.

I am staying well within my WW points allowance, and keeping my calories in the 1000-1200 range, and have not had the urge to make popcorn or eat popchips (try the BBQ -or maybe don’t, they’re addictive lol).

Wishing you all a Happy 4th Of July early- stay safe! 🙂

 

Summer Fruit Season!

Eating in-season is supposed to be better for us, but with the availability of almost any food year around, it can take some internet searching to determine what is “IN” season locally.

There used to be a family run produce stand here. I remember going with my mom, that’s how long it was around. You knew what was in season by their stock. They bought and farmed locally and in the Central Texas region. Nostalgic hind-sight tells me I should have appreciated those trips more.

Summer is definitely the bounty of fruits season here on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Here’s a little chart to get you started: Summer Seasonal Chart

I don’t see watermelon or bananas on that list, but I’m pretty sure they are as well.

Another thing we may get stuck on is serving sizes.

If you look at a small Gala apple, that is a serving of apple. If you look at the typical Honeycrisp apple that’s roughly the size of a large kids softball, that is 2-3 servings.

1 cup of blueberries or grapes is considered a serving; 8 large strawberries; 3 medium plums are all considered a single serving now. (side note: a “serving” of grapes on Weight Watchers used to be 10 grapes; a serving of blueberries was 1/2 cup and a serving of strawberries was 5 berries. I still adhere to those sizes because, in my mind, that is a reasonable serving).

Thing like fruit based smoothies, fruit salad and cooked fruits can be an easy way to get those 5 servings in, but use common sense: smoothies can easily push the 400-500 calorie barrier. Fruit salads depend a lot on the fruit (in heavy syrup? sugary dressing?) opting for fresh most of the time is a better option. Trail mixes made with dried (and usually sugared)fruits have very small portion sizes listed for a reason.

I’m not suggesting to never indulge in these treats, or to enjoy that delicious Honeycrisp apple, just don’t make it a daily thing.

Two of my favorite snacks are:

Apple slices with either 1 tablespoon peanut butter or 1 ounce extra sharp cheddar cheese. Just slice the apple thinly and top with the PB or cheese slices;

4 dried apricots topped with 1 ounce goat cheese, 4 walnut halves and a drizzle (1 teaspoon) honey (this also makes a great party appetizer 🙂 )

Are We A Nation Of Addicts?

You know how you wake up in the middle of the night with a stray thought that you just can’t stop thinking about?
That was me, at 3am Monday morning about this topic.

Start with the accepted definition of addict:

1to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively 
2to cause addiction to a substance in (a person or animal)
I look at my son and his friends, and you almost never see them without their smart phones in hand, eyes on the screen, barely paying attention to the “reality” around them.
I look at my husband who does drink 2-3 beers a night to “unwind” or will drink a whole bottle of scotch over a weekend. When he can’t drink, when he’s on call for work as an example, he gets cranky, argumentative, knit-picks everything, and just grumpy as hell over all. So is he an addict? Probably.
I don’t  turn a blind eye to myself. I play video games, binge-watch Netflix, buy a lot online on a whim(you’re welcome Amazon for funding at least one employees salary), etc. I don’t drink often, and I rarely even look at my cell phone.
When someone says they’re “addicted to food”, my first though it “well duh – everyone is. If you don’t eat, you die. That’s a necessity, not an addiction.” but looking deeper at that statement, when someone makes that comment, it’s usually about a specific food or group of foods.
Carbs are a biggie. I don’t know many people that only eat 2oz of pasta, or 1/3 cup of rice or 1 slice of bread, for examples.
Maybe because carbs are the easiest thing TO overeat, and they tend to cause cravings for more carbs, it could easily have an addictive quality.
I love watermelon. It’s only really good and in season about 2 months out of the year, and I indulge while it’s good.
I know me, I can quite literally eat watermelon until I’m sick. So, I guess, for me, that’s a food addiction of a sort.
With my son it’s tortilla chips and salsa.
For my husband, I’d say it’s pudding. If I buy more than just enough pudding cups for his lunches, he will eat anything over that number in a day.
I bought 4 x 4 pack because they were on sale, and he ate every single one – all 16 – over the weekend, then complained because he didn’t have any for lunch the next week.
I guess my point in all this is: it’s very easy to not see our own addictive tendencies. Sometimes it’s in our best interest to turn that mirror onto ourselves and evaluate what we may need to change and pay more attention to.