Powdered Peanut Butter Mug Muffin

At just 1 Weight Watchers Freestyle point, 6 grams net carbs*, 13 grams protein, gluten free and tasty, this is a nice treat for the sweet tooth.

*I have PB Fit on hand for this, but I’d suggest something without added coconut palm sugar, to get the carbs and sugar lower.

Powdered Peanut Butter Mug Muffin

  • Tbsp Better Body Foods PB Fit Peanut butter powder (gluten free)
  • jumbo egg  beaten
  • packet Splenda No calorie sweetener (I use splenda naturals)
  • Tbsp water
  • tsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder, add an additional 1 Tablespoon of water if using.
    Instructions
    • Beat egg, then stir the rest of the ingredients into the egg in a microwave safe cup.

    • Optional: add 2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon more water for a peanut butter and chocolate cake.

    • Microwave on high for 1 minute for a soft center; 1-1/2 minutes for a firm center.

As written using the PB Fit on the left; PB2 (Bell Plantation) on the right in bold

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 154   /  149
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8 g / 8 13 %
Saturated Fat 2 g / 2 10 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g  / 2
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g  /
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 234 mg  /  234 78 %
Sodium 185 mg  / 184 8 %
Potassium 87 mg  /  87 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g  / 8 3 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g / 3 13 %
Sugars 3 g  /  1
Protein 13 g  / 14 25 %
Vitamin A 7 %  /  7
Vitamin C 0 %  /  0
Calcium  6 %  /  4
Iron 9 %  /  7
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Freeze Dried Fruits: The Low-Carbers Unsung Hero

Whenever we (as low-carb or even low-fat/calorie eaters) read about dried fruits, we immediately check for added sugar and are usually not surprised to see that most companies add a ton of sugar.

One product that we may be overlooking are freeze dried fruits.

Take Natierra Nature’s All Foods Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries for example. Blueberries and nothing else.

I use this as an example because, well, I use this product a lot when I want a fruit component without killing my carbs for the day.

The one above, 10 berries is just at 1g carbs.

These are light, airy and they don’t reconstitute into full, round berries, so you can’t think that way.

What they are: bursts of fruity flavor.

I use them in the mug muffin recipe below, and they are a fabulous addition and feel like you’re eating a carby dessert or treat 🙂

Lemon Blueberry Mug Muffin

3 weight watchers freestyle points

    • 1 tbsp(s), Lemon juice, raw
    • 1 large, Egg
    • 2 packet, Splenda Naturals (1 for the mix, 1 optional)
    • 2 tablespoon, Almond Flour
    • 1 tbsp, Coconut Flour
    • 2 tbsp(s), Water – Municipal
    • 0.50 tsp, Clabber Girl
    • 10 Freeze Dried Blueberries
    • 1 tsp, Lemon Zest
    • 6 sprays I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray(optional)
  • Beat egg and add water, lemon juice and 1 packet sweetener.

  • Mix dry ingredients then mix everything except the other sweetener packet and butter spray, in a microwave safe cup.

  • Microwave on high for 1 minute, then (optional): spray the top with butter spray and sprinkle with remaining sweetener. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds, let cool and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 194
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g 20 %
Saturated Fat 3 g 15 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 186 mg 62 %
Sodium 119 mg 5 %
Potassium 88 mg 3 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g 4 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g 18 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 10 g 21 %
Vitamin A 5 %
Vitamin C 14 %
Calcium 7 %
Iron 13 %

Then -V- Now: Eating Habits

My husband and I have  a son who is 27.

My nephew is 23.

The difference between my son and nephew’s eating habits is astonishing, and they’re nearly the same age.

Son: I’m a little hungry, but I can wait an hour for dinner.

Nephew: I’m a little hungry, FEED ME NOW BEFORE I STARVE TO DEATH IN THE NEXT 30 SECONDS!

Kind of funny, but I do think it lends a lot to what we’re taught as children about food and our relationship with it.

Like any relationship, it can be healthy or UNhealthy.

Growing up in a 1-horse-town and out in the country even from the town, we didn’t have many fast food options growing up. No restaurants that weren’t at least a 30 minute drive away.

We went to the grocery store once a week, and the the mall (that was an hour away) once a month. We usually had a “sit down” meal at the mall and that was a big deal back then 😀

Those sit down meals were also nothing like today. Portions were smaller, foods were “cleaner”, restaurants did not tolerate kids running around, screaming and generally annoying the entire room, there were no tablets or smart phones: you enjoyed the food and your dining companions.

We ate scheduled meals, and we sat together at the table.

Desserts were once a week, on Sunday.

Snacks were rare and usually a fruit (we had a grapefruit orchard) or small pastry if my Great Grandmother had baked, or a Mexican pandulce – neither of which were sweet by todays pastry standards.

Another thing that has changed: you were in the kitchen at an early age when I was a kid, and you learned, at the least, the basics of cooking. Maybe nothing culinary grade, but you could fend for yourself if needed. This applied to boys and girls.

I am amazed at how many women and men in some groups/boards, that are in their 30s, that can’t even boil water. They depend solely on fast food and take out to live. Or, if they’re lucky, their mom or dad cooks for them. You get the picture.

IMO one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to learn to cook healthy, no matter what healthy means to you, dishes , so we can depend on ourselves instead of some faceless chef, to keep ourselves fed and (hopefully) healthy.

I read a quote that sticks with me: “Being hungry is not an emergency”.

I have been trying to improve my relationship with food for many years and, I think, I’ve accomplished a lot in that aspect.

If nothing else, my son has adopted my newer food thoughts about hunger and when/what/how much to eat. Yes, he still occasionally has ramen at 3am (smells awful and will wake you up /annoyed) but a good 80% of the time he’s switched to a healthier way to look at food as both fuel and for enjoyment.

This is an interesting article about how to improve your relationship with food. If you can adopt just 1 or 2 of these, it may help you as well:)

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8258/11-steps-to-rebuild-your-relationship-with-food.html

Why Weight Watchers Freestyle Will Have To Rethink Their Plan Basics Next Year

No: this is not “breaking news” or anything, this is just my observation from reading various Weight Watchers boards and groups.

Reading Amanda’s post:

  • “Hey! I’ve been on the new WW plan for a month and have gained 12 pounds! I am always under my points. What gives?”

Questions/advice:

  • “That’s ok Amanda, just stick with it!”
  • “What are you eating?”
  • “Maybe you don’t have any weight to lose?”
  • Is it that time of the month??

Amanda responds:

  • I eat zero point foods except for 1 meal a day.
  • I get 27 points, so my supper is a double bacon cheeseburger with fries and a drink or a 1 pound ribeye with a loaded baked potato and a diet coke. (here’s where someone chimes in with the whole “diet soda is bad for you” routine lol) Sometimes I have a piece of pie or cake to use up my rollover points.
  • The rest of the day I eat: 3 dozen eggs and 10 apples, plus a banana or 2 for the potassium, oh and some broccoli and carrots if I’m hungry, maybe 3 pounds of chicken breast.
  • I use my unused points on Saturday and I eat 20 pancakes covered in butter and syrup for breakfast, then a bucket of fried chicken for supper to make sure I use them all.
  • I’m within my points so why am I not losing??? This plan sucks!

You get the picture.

ANY plan can be abused, and this new WW one has a lot of room to screw up, even if you’re “within the guidelines”.

I think WW’s mistake is thinking that everyone will use common sense. lol.

I predict that there will be an updated plan within the next year to limit “free” foods to 2-3 servings.

Whether there will be an update or not, reading the various WW based discussions, there NEEDS to be.

That still allows for a LOT of food that you don’t have to count, but it does put some emphasis on using common sense and portion control. Which a lot of people seem to need.

For me, this is actually a really easy plan to do and stay low carb, under 50g a day.

I use my 26 points for healthy fats and lean proteins, and the occasional low-carb bread product, and then eat non-starchy veggies to fill my meals out.

I do allow myself 1 Activia light yogurt in the evening as a sweet treat and probiotic. At 2 freestyle points, it’s worth it to me.

I do use full fat mayo, half and half, real cheese, and real butter along with some avocado (not all in the same day), so I’m keeping my calories above 1000, which is surprisingly difficult to do on this version if you don’t use some full fat products.

 

Keto Shrimp Salad

This is a seriously easy recipe that comes together in no time and costs practically nothing.

When you see “salad shrimp” on sale, grab a bunch of bags. Usually in 6oz bags and frozen, major store chains like Kroger will have them on sale for $1 a bag at times.

If not salad shrimp, then any small or extra small shrimp will work. I also make this recipe and use 6oz shrimp and 1 can of crab meat, to change up the flavors and textures.

Keto Shrimp Salad (serves 2)

  • 2 med stalks Celery, chopped small
  • 1 Green Onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt, Old Bay seasoning, Cajun seasoning -whatever you like
  • 12 oz small or salad shrimp: cooked, peeled, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 oz dill pickle chopped small (you can use dill relish)
  • 1 drops Stevia Glycerite or 1 teaspoon equivalent of your sweetener of choice

Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasoning and sweetener well, then add everything else and stir to coat.

Refrigerate 15-30 minutes for the flavors to blend.

You can add a little hot sauce, Dijon or spicy brown mustard, even chopped hard boiled eggs. I like a  combination of Tabasco and dijon mustard added to this.

Serve over lettuce or in a wrap.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 331
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20 g 31 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 11 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 11 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 345 mg 115 %
Sodium 1449 mg 60 %
Potassium 232 mg 7 %
Total Carbohydrate 5 g 2 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 5 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 37 g 74 %
Vitamin A 11 %
Vitamin C 50 %
Calcium 11 %
Iron 32 %

Eggs, Glorious Eggs

Very nearly the perfect food for low-carb, the lowly and often maligned egg can be a wonderful addition to your meal plan that’s healthy, nutritious and budget friendly.

From a simple scramble, to a sophisticated omelette, the versatile wonder food can be dressed up or dressed down to your own tastes.

Simple Egg Salad for 1:

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 small dill pickle, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste

No Fuss Veggies and Eggs in a Pan (1 large serving)

  • 2 large eggs, beaten together with a little salt and pepper
  • diced or sliced (small) vegetables such as: zucchini, tomato, onion, jalapeno, spinach, artichokes, whatever you like or need to use from your fridge!
  • diced ham, leftover steak, sausage whatever you might want
  • 1 teaspoon each butter and olive oil
  • cheese, if desired

Heat the oil in a small skillet and saute the veggies until they are cooked however you like them. If you’re using a protein that’s cooked, add it now to heat through then: Pour the eggs over them, rotating the pan to make sure and cover the entire pan bottom. Cover and let cook on medium heat for 1 minute until the eggs are cooked through, then turn off the heat and add cheese, if using. Cover again until cheese melts.

Egg and Cabbage Carbonara-ish (1-2 servings)

  • 1-2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • additional 1-2T half and half
  • 1 Tablespoon shredded Parmesan or the green can is FINE
  • 1 sun dried tomato half, sliced very thin (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute the bacon until it is cooked through and slightly crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and add the olive oil and cabbage to the bacon drippings.

Cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes until the cabbage wilts, then add the garlic and sun dried tomato.

Cook for another minute and add the beaten eggs and stir until the eggs cook. Add the remaining half and half, reserved bacon and the Parmesan cheese, stir to mix in and serve hot.

Creamed Eggs (1 serving)

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced or chopped
  • 1 slice cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsely (optional)
  • pinch of paprika (optional)
  • tabasco hot sauce

Heat the butter in a skillet and add everything except the cream, stir until hot then add the cream and just bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper and tabasco sauce if you want. Server this as-is or over a low-carb bread option.

Of course you have a lot of options with hard boiled eggs:

  • top with a little pesto;
  • sriracha;
  • pepperoni slices and 1/2 teaspoon marinara sauce(try this using either quartered pepperoni slices or the little mini ones!)
  • salsa;
  • a thin slice of avocado and 1/2tsp sour cream;
  • crumbled bacon;
  • pimento cheese(read labels, some brands have a lot of sugar and other garbage);
  • spinach that has been cooked, squeezed dry and mixed with cream cheese;
  • slice them and add to cooked green beans and saute with a little butter;
  • use a little truffle salt, the flavor it brings out it amazing.

And an over easy or sunny-side-up egg are fantastic on a steak or burger patty as well.

So the next time you’re thinking “ugh! eggs!” think outside the box… err carton 🙂

The New Weight Watchers Freestyle Plan

If you’ve read my blog, you know I love to read diet books. And fiction. And sometimes these two subjects are the same lol.

I have been reading blogs about the new WW Freestyle plan and it occurs to me they’re making an effort to include low-carb eaters in this new plan.

Well, low carb if you also do low(er) fats. Not Keto, you’re still pretty much the “red headed step child” for WW if you actually eat fats outside of the  “lean meats” and things they include.

But aside from that, many of the WW bloggers have included a lot of info on the new plan, which is great since many people don’t want to pay for the WW site or meetings only to find out it’s not really something we want to do.

So here are some blogs and some basics of the newest rollout:

  1. Lean meats: turkey, chicken, shellfish, even canned tuna in water, are now zero pts.
  2. non-fat yogurts, including Greek styles, are zero
  3. eggs are now zero (instead of 2pts!)
  4. beans and lentils, even canned, are included as zero pts.
  5. Your “points” allowance has dropped to compensate for the free foods (says most people went from 30SP to 23-25 freestyle)
  6. More fruits are zero including canned in water ones

All in all, it looks pretty do-able for basic low-carb, especially if you like eggs, tuna, chicken, etc -which many people do prefer over red meats. Not me. I love a good steak 😀

Here are some links for more reading:

Slender Kitchen

Life is Sweet by Design

Emily Bites

These are my personal favorites, but you can google for a lot more info.

Happy eating 🙂

Yet Another Green Bean Side Dish

Honestly, you could add cooked ground beef or grilled chicken to this casserole and make a “comfort food” meal out of it.

I love green beans. They really fit into any eating plan. They’re low calorie, low carb, paleo, primal, gluten free, (generally) allergen free, not a nightshade… You get the picture.

I was pinteresting (that’s not a word but it really should be) and smooshed several recipes together to get this, and I’ve been making it 2-3 times a month since then.

What I was looking for was an acceptable low-carb, gluten free green bean casserole to serve at gatherings and holidays, and this one is great for those, too.

It is not paleo because of the dairy,  but you can’t win them all :p

Creamy and Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

  • 2 cans french style green beans or 1 of the big cans, drained well
  • 1 can (8oz) sliced mushrooms, drained well
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (use full fat and a brand that doesn’t have a lot of chemicals added)
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream (or half and half, or almond milk if you like)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (smoked gouda works well, too)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons Kraft parmesan in the green can, yes that stuff

Mix everything except the Kraft parmesan cheese together until it’s all pretty uniform.

Spoon into a casserole and either: bake at 400f for 15 minutes until it’s all bubbly, then sprinkle the Kraft on top and cook another 5 minutes

OR: microwave, uncovered, for 3 minutes, top with the Kraft and microwave another minute until it’s all hot and bubbly.

You can probably get more than 4 servings from this, but we really love it so we only get 4 lol:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 278
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20 g 31 %
Saturated Fat 12 g 62 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 65 mg 22 %
Sodium 1528 mg 64 %
Potassium 231 mg 7 %
Total Carbohydrate 12 g 4 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g 11 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 13 g 26 %
Vitamin A 18 %
Vitamin C 11 %
Calcium 43 %
Iron 11 %

 

SoUPER Broth for Colds an Sinuses

Just a quick drive-by post.
With the cold, flu and allergy season in full swing, I keep this on hand in the freezer.

You know when you’re sick and you don’t want to eat anything? Drink this instead.

  • 1 whole chicken or parts(with bones) equal to about 3 pounds
  • cold tap water to cover chicken in a deep pot
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt (up to you, I use 2)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar with the mother
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
  • a 2-3″ section of ginger sliced or chopped
  • 1-2 dried red chili peppers or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes(to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme

Mix the vinegar and salt in the water in the pot.

Submerge the chicken and cook over low heat for 30 minutes for chicken parts or 1 hour for a whole chicken, turning the chicken over half way through the cook time.

Remove the chicken and let it cool enough to handle, then skim any scum off the broth before adding the garlic, ginger, peppers, rosemary and thyme to the broth and let it sit, off heat, until you can handle the chicken.

Once cooled, take the meat off the bones and add the bones back to the broth. Make sure it’s covered with water and bring to a simmer.

Cover and simmer for 2 hours, then strain and let cool.

Refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.

TIPS:

I always start with chicken parts instead of just bones, because I like  my broth to taste like chicken, and sometimes bones alone don’t do that.
I wrap the bones in cheesecloth to make removing them easier without having to strain the broth.

I found that these tea buddies work great for dried spices to keep them out of the finished broth. I also use them for garlic, pepper flakes, peppercorns, ginger and other loose spices for the same reason. I have tried a few brands but this one seems to work the best at keeping sediment out of the broth. And they’re great for loose teas, they hold a lot.

You can do this in an electric pressure cooker: same procedure except: place the starting ingredients in the cooker and cook under high pressure for 12 minutes, this should cook the chicken.

When you add the bones back in, high pressure for 1 hour then let it naturally release before removing the lid and cooling down.

Product Recommendation: Cut-da-Carb Flatbread and Honorable Mentions of Other Brands of Low-Carb Wraps/Tortillas/Pitas

UPDATE: I can not recommend the Cut-da-Carb Flatbread if you plan to freeze them. Even freezing them flat, with parchment paper between each bread sheet, they crumble and break upon thawing. 

 

Most of these are not gluten free products, sadly, but I do recommend them if a little gluten is not a problem for you.

I’ve found, for me, 1-2 servings of these a week are not a problem for my health or weight loss. If I have more than that, I can definitely tell with my fingers and ankles swelling, mild headaches and even stuffy sinuses.

I do NOT have Celiac, but I am sensitive to too much gluten, so “you do you” as the saying goes 🙂

If you’ve ever had the Lavash from Joseph’s Middle Eastern Bakery (available at walmart and Netriton.com), this is similar but even thinner.

The Cut Da Carb The Thinnest Flatbread Ever is super, paper thin, yet hearty and holds up well as a tortilla substitute, makes good baked (or microwaved) crackers, even as a dessert wrap(brush lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with sweetener and cinnamon, fill with equal parts cream cheese and sour cream beaten with a little sweetener, vanilla and berries to taste; cut the flatbread into 1/4’s, fill and roll).

I do not recommend this one for pizza, it doesn’t hold up well to heavy toppings. For Pizza, Joseph’s Lavash, Pita or Tortillas are much sturdier.

A bigger and higher fiber tortilla/wrap is Ole Extreme Wellness which you can find at walmart (by the case online at walmart.com). These are packed with a whopping 11g of fiber, making it a good choice.

I have tried many of the gluten free products, including trying to make my own. I just don’t get the right texture to call them a success.

Many gluten free products are extremely high in carbs as well.

If carbs are not a concern, I can recommend the Flatout Gluten Free Flatbread . The taste is really good, and the texture is a little bit spongy but, once baked, it firms up nicely.