Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas & Happy Yulebocken

Yesterday was Christmas Day, and we got to spend a relaxing day at home. Well, not as relaxing as it might have been. We began the day with the delivery of a set of twin goats. Then a Single doeling was born from another mother. It's a good thing we were home, because it was so cold here, they could have easily frozen to death. As it was the little buckling from the twin delivery was very cold and almost dead when we found him. A few hours in the warm house and some warm colustrum and he was good as new, though. Yulebocken is the Swedish Christmas Gift Giving Goat. So, I guess we had a couple of Yulebocken visits yesterday.
After all the fun with goats, we came in the house to have our traditional Christmas breakfast of steak and eggs. In the afternoon, we fixed hot chocolate using Hood Calorie Countdown milk (spiked with spiced rum...yummmmm). I have to admit, the Hood Chocolate makes great hot cocoa substitute with a dash of vanilla flavoring and a teaspoon of butter. Throw a shot of rum and a dollop of whipped cream in and you have a really great special treat.
Today hasn't really been any better. I was awakened at 5:30 am (19 degrees outside) to be told that one of the does just had quads! OK, I dressed and heated up some colustrum, knowing that with 4, I'd end up bottle feeding at least one. At the very least, I would have to supplement mom's milk for all of them. Darn if I wasn't right. The mother has some kind of blockage in one teat that feels like a big marble and the milk can't come past. I'm having to work on that, hoping to work it loose or down, or something. The other side really didn't appear to have much milk. So it looks like I am bottle feeding the 3 survivors. The littlest baby just didn't have enough get up and go to uhm... well... get up and go.
Anyway, as far as goat deliveries expected this holiday week...3 down and about 10 to go. This has turned into a Holiday tradition in my house. I don't know how the goats know that if they mate in July (WE try to get them bred in May!) they will have babies while we are here to help out, but it sure works out well, except for the cold weather.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Still here

I know it seems like I never update this thing. I guess I have been busy. I am trying to get my goats dried up for the winter, but they seem to have other plans. I have three that appear to want to give 3 quarts a day forever! The only good thing about that is that I can still make lots of cheese. I finally got a cheese press. In fact, I bought one and a few weeks later, a friend of mine gave me one he made. I have used them both, and they work just WONDERFUL!!!!
I have been making hard cheeses (big enough to eat) for the first time ever. I bought cheese wax, and everything. I have a refrigerator full of cheddars, goudas, and colbys. The one on the left is waxed with beeswax, and the one on the right is waxed with red cheese wax. It sure looks nicer with real cheese wax. Those are 2 pound cheeses resting on a handmade cheese board. I also have made some lightly pressed cheeses that don't have to age. They are called Queso Fresco, and they aren't just faster to make, and have ready to eat, but they are just great cheese...firm and tasty! I just finished marinating one in Chiante, just to see how it comes out. It sure turned a pretty color of purple, anyway! Robert is out of town until tomorrow night, so I'm being a good girl and leaving it alone until he is here to try it first. Talk about a test of willpower!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another great cheese recipe

Yesterday I decided to break into my home made Brie cheese. I wrapped it in about 4 sheets of Phyllo dough (8 carbs per I didn't eat the crust) and baked it for about 20 minutes at 350 until the pastry was beginning to brown. I used sliced apples and scooped up melty cheese and it was just heavenly!

Today, I took my other Brie to work (I always share with the guys at work! They really appreciate cheese). I cut the top rind off the cheese, and made a sauce using about 3 or 4 Tablespoons of DaVinci B-52 Syrup, and imitation honey, with a teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove mixture, and about 1/2 cup of thin sliced almonds poured over the top, wrapped in aluminum foil, and baked in the office toaster oven at 350 for about 15 minutes. Once again, I provided sliced apples for scooping it up, and everyone was wowed.


Not low carb, but its my life

Today, on the way home, I saw a hawk struggling along, trying to fly carrying a big ol' black bird. All I could think was, HOW LUCKY AM I??? I get to see things nobody else ever gets to see. Another day, I saw hawk flying over my farm, carrying a snake and landing in the trees. I have actually awakened to find a deer in my bedroom. I doubt anybody else has done that! (long story, the guard dogs adopted her, she now guards right alongside them). I have seen a Great Dane laying on the floor of my kitchen with tiny 4 day old chicks hopping all over his great big head.
I have watched groundhogs play tag, seen mating squirrels, and have a dachshund that has helped me round up escaped baby rabbits (and never hurt any of them). The typical farm stuff is pretty neat, but the things that just happen without anyone expecting it are just fantastic.

I feel sorry for anybody that never lived in the country, because they just never have really lived.

May you enjoy all the things around you.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Holy Goat Milk Batman!

Her name is Chaos; I couldn't resist her.
I needed another Dairy Goat like I needed a hole in the head, but she was so beautiful!
She has turned into a pretty decent milker for a young little girlie. Unfortunately, she had her babies in late JULY! That means she will be milking all winter, in fact, my other goats will deliver their babies before I manage to get her dried out. I'm going to try to get her bred before the end of December, so I don't have to milk all next winter, too! But I am getting really tired of milk....I've been at it since last March, and it is looking like I'll be milking until at least next September.

I finally broke down and ordered a cheese press so I could get some of this milk under control. I can use 2 gallons at a time to make hard cheese now, so that gets rid of larger quantities of milk at one time than I have been used to. I have made cheddar and gouda (2 pound cheeses) and I am getting really excited about trying them (in FEBRUARY). Anyway, tune in in February to see if the cheeses thrived and turned out edible.

People don't realize that cheese is full of living organisms and such things that kind of make it into a live thing in and of itself. It has to be treated gently, and given just the right amount of humidity and optimal temperatures to mature into a good tasting cheese. Otherwise it will just rot. Cheese is similar to beer and wine in that respect. Feed and care for it and it will reward you. I hope.

Other than cheesemaking, I have been making lotion and soap about as fast as I can. I have shows almost every other weekend until Christmas. I love making and selling soap, I love hearing my customers tell me how much they love using it, but like milking, it can really get old.

I am ready to do something different for a while, so in a couple of months you will probably be reading about how I am tired of making sausages (my next scheduled endeavor), and how my freezer is full of sausages, and I'm tired of eating sausages, but for some reason, I just can't sit around and do whatever it is that normal people do to pass their time. I MUST be making something. Maybe I should take up least I could end up with some new furniture!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bah, Bah, Barilla...

I understand wanting to justify your product, and encouraging people to purchase it, but Barilla has ignored common sense on their website. While Dreamfields Pasta actually tests for the glycogenic effect of their product, Barilla relies only on tired, old, outdated, and proven to be untrue saws from the high carb, low fat, myths to promote what actually might be a reasonably low glycemic product.
I was reading their page about the "Dangers of Low Carb Diets", and managing to just laugh off their outdated statements, then I came upon this one; "Foods high in fat can increase energy intake (calories) because they are more energy dense, not as “bulky,” and taste good, leaving eaters desiring more and making it easy to over-consume them."


I guess the perfect diet tastes so bad you don't want to eat anything, right? That's essentially what they are saying. They are ignoring that satiety occurs way earlier when eating high fat (tasty) foods than when eating low fat (sugar full) foods, resulting in a much lower overall calorie consumption.

Until Barilla enters the 21st century and learns to appeal to us long time low-carbers by recognizing that their high fiber product might, just possibly, appeal to low-carbers, if they would only do some real-time blood sugar effect testing to give us some real statistics on the glucose effects of their products, I will not even experiment with their pastas and I recommend that other low-carbers stay far away, and continue to use Dreamfields. In fact, I think I will go to the Dreamfield site right now and thank them for being so pro lowcarb!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I just made Carbquick brownies. I used the recipe on the Carbquick site using 4 eggs, less than a cup of Carbquick and Ghiardelli's Unsweetened Baking Chocolate and Hersheys Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (the recipe called for just "semi-sweet chips" but the Hersheys had way fewer carbs so I used them. My gosh they are absolutely delicious even though they are about twice as expensive.

The brownies were probably the best low carb brownies I've had, but next time I am cutting the chocolate down at least half! These are almost too chocolatty, if that's possible!

I love them, DH loves them, and I'll definitely make them again!

Looking forward to Labor Day Weekend (BBQ day!)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Diabetes strikes home

I thought since my husband has learned to cook for me, read labels, and generally be highly carb conscious about what I allow to be consumed at home, that his overall sugar and starch consumption would be low enough that he would never have any health problems. Of course it seems this subject falls in the same category of "I'm just in deep denial" that I discovered I perferred to use to keep from facing lots of other unpleasant subjects.

Yes, this week we discovered that he is, indeed, diabetic. Not a whole lot diabetic; not so bad the doctor recommeded insulin diabetic, but still with high enough blood sugar to be considered diabetic. To his credit, he did tell the doctor that he wanted to try to manage it with diet and exercise and the doctor agreed to let him do it.

Well, he has had several years now that he has practiced 'stealth carb consumption'. He has been pretty good at it, too. There are several things that he considers necessary to make life worth living. I think the main one is his coffee on the weekends. He only drinks it on the weekends, and I have nothing against coffee. The problem is he HAS to have Irish Cream and Kahlua in his coffee. OK, great! He learned several years ago to make his own Irish Cream and his own Kahlua. The Kahlua is made with instant coffee, cheap vodka, and simple syrup that I convinced him to make with Splenda instead of sugar. One problem kind of solved. But the Irish cream is made with bourbon, raw egg, chocolate syrup (he will happily sub sf syrup), and here is the real problem...a can of sweetened condensed milk! HOLY COW, I'll bet no low carber even bothered to look up the carb count on sweetened condensed milk. 23g per 2 Tablespoons. Nutritional information seems like an oxymoron when you say in conjunction with a product that is made of whole milk and sugar, period! I'll try to come up with a substitute, but it isn't going to be easy. I know that Irish Cream Davinci's Syrup won't satisfy him.

Even though he knows I'm right, he still has that wishful attitude that he won't have to watch his diet forever. I've told him its a lifestyle change, not a diet, and eventually he won't think about eating fries, corn on the cob, and hamburger buns again (which, BTW, he rarely does in front of me). He argues that when he gets down to 200 pounds it won't be a problem anymore. Somehow, he has connected diabetes with weighing 250 pounds, not with having disfunctional sugar metabolism. He has 2 college degrees and isn't stupid! But he is a man, and if I nag him he'll just remain in stealth carb eating mode and not educate himself. So, my mouth is shut. My Atkins books are laying in plain sight, and I don't know what else to do. I know that he mainly eats the bad stuff when he isn't around me, and I can't be around him all the time.

The holidays are going to be rough. His mother is a wonderful cookie, cake, and pie baker. That's her special talent and she is his supplier on the holidays...I'm not making any iced sugar cookies or making fudge and Mississippi Mud Pie, but she has them sitting all over the house in literal bucketfuls. I have her partially trained to have a few things around made with Splenda so I don't sit around and bitch quite so bad about being surrounded with poison, are they trying to kill me or what? Not too long ago I actually yelled at her for buying LOW FAT some kind of crap, and pulled a regular version of it out of her refrigerator and showed her the carb count and amount of sugar was exactly 19 times higher in the low fat version. I was mortified that I yelled at my MIL, but I may have finally made some headway in keeping her from trying to feed me low fat stuff ("I got those for you, they're low fat"). Maybe I can get her convinced that flour and sugar should be eliminated from her house, too, now that her son's life depends on it. Yeah, that's it, I'll accuse her of trying to kill him instead of me for awhile.

Anyway, anybody reading this is welcome to offer suggestions. I'm doing all I can think of to convince him that Low Carb is the only way to handle this disease, and correct his HDL/Triglyceride ratio at the same time (it's bad, too, of course).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Do it yourself cheese!

Milk isn't exactly low carb, so I don't drink it. But I get almost 2 gallons of fresh milk everyday, and with the new price of milk being at or above $4 per gallon at the stores, I figure my dairy goats are getting more valuable by the minute!

I don't drink milk, but I use it to make my own cheese. That's low carb :-)

I also use it to make soap, and lotion.

Anyone interested in making homemade cheese is in for a treat. It's SO EASY.

You don't have to have a goat or cow. You could milk your sheep, or mare, or water buffalo...just kidding. You could go buy that $4/gallon milk from Wally World.
Carefully warm a gallon of milk to 195 degrees (for cows milk). Add 1/2 cup of vinegar or lemon juice to the hot milk. You will see curds separate from the whey (which will be kind of neon green-looking). Line a collandar or large sieve with a clean, old, well worn pillowcase, sheet, or piece of cheesecloth. Pour the curds and whey through the cloth and let drain for a while. You can hang the curds by tying the 4 corners of the cloth in a loose knot and dangle from a cabinet handle with a bowl underneath to catch whey, or from your kitchen faucet. Let drain for 3 to 12 hours depending on how dry you want your cheese.
Dump the curds into a large bowl, for a savory cheese, season with salt, and herbs such as onion powder, garlic powder, Italian herbs, dill, or pepper. For a desert cheese or fruit spread, put the curds into the food processor with a few strawberries and some Stevia, or some SF jam, or DaVinci syrup, and process until it is smooth and creamy (you might want to add some cream).
Put it into a tightly sealed container in your refrigerator and use within the next week or two. These cheeses also freeze well. The savory cheese is awesome in Italian dishes like lasagna. You can also use this type of cheese in anything you would use tofu in (it doesn't melt or get stringy).
Everyone I work with looks forward to me bringing in my fresh cheeses and dishes made with them for our snack days.
Let me know how your cheese turns out :-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Squash Casserole Recipe

My garden is producing great big yellow summer squash as fast as it can. That means I am making small squash casseroles to freeze for later use, as fast as I can. There is no way I can eat all that squash right now. Even a little summer squash pumps up the carbs when you are on induction. But, I do make a fairly low carb squash casserole:

About 4 quarts of squash in large pieces
One medium onion, cut in large pieces
4 oz cream cheese (full fat)
1 stick of butter
1 large egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons of Carbalose flour or LC bake mix
Salt and Italian herbs to taste.

Boil the squash and onion until very tender and then drain for 10 or 15 minutes in a large collandar.
Mash with a large fork or potato masher while in the collandar so it will drain some more.

Put mashed squash and onion back into your big pan and add one stick of butter and 4 ounces of cream cheese, one beaten egg, and 2 tablespoons of carbalose flour. Season with salt and Italian herbs. Mix well, then put into small casserole dishes that have been sprayed with PAM. Cover the top of the casserole with shredded cheese (I use shredded colby).

Cover the dishes with lids, or aluminum foil. Make a label (I use a post-it note) and trap it under a layer of clear wrap and wrap the casserole tightly to keep it fresh until you are ready to bake it. Freeze.

When you are ready to cook it, take it out of the freezer several hours in advance to thaw. Bake it covered at 350 degrees until it is hot, bubbly and browning on the top. The time will vary depending on just how much thawing happened prior to putting in the oven. If it was totally thawed, it should only take 30 to 45 minutes.

The whole recipe comes to 52 net carbs, I get a minimum of 10 servings at 5.2 grams each.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

4th of July

Menu for the 4th:
Pulled Pork barbeque (0 Carbs)
Smoked Chicken (0 Carbs)
Macaroni & Cheese (Goatmilk cheese & Dreamfields macaroni) (7 Carbs per serving)
Mock Waldorf Salad (George Stella’s recipe ) (4 Carbs per serving when made with broccoli instead of cabbage)
Home made LC Ice Cream (50 grams per complete recipe = 6 grams per cup)

This will work on induction if I drink tea sweetened with stevia, have eggs for breakfast, and leftover meat for dinner/snacks. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? Have a Happy 4th.

Back on Induction

Well after a week back on induction I am glad to announce I lost 9 pounds. Knuckling down was hard, but not impossible. As usual, weekends were hardest because my husband wanted to eat out a few times, but I was very picky where I would go, so I could get “trustworthy” food (no sugar added to boost flavor). I have been in ketosis at a low to moderate level and decided to check something I always was a little suspicious about. Namely, does Dreamfields pasta really only have the effect of just 5 grams of carbs? Well, I watched the ketone levels closely, and a meal with Dreamfields linguini did NOT throw me out of ketosis, so I feel confident if I don’t overindulge, Dreamfields pasta is honestly safe for low carbers (me, anyway).

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Supporting Local Farmers

Today, I am going to go to a local Black berry and Blue berry farm to pick blackberries. I do have wild blackberries on my farm, but this year they are about the size of baby English peas. (drat!). So, off I go to pick from someone who irrigated. That's OK, I believe in buying from local farmers. To be honest, not only should the berries be bigger (but not as sweet) but their plants are thornless, and I don't expect to have to sidestep snakes, and snakes are a big possibility in my berry patches!

Farming can be a seriously risky business. Especially, if you are trying to make a living from it. This year, especially, in my part of the country, being a small farmer may mean ending up seriously broke, not to mention hungry. We are in the middle of a bad drought here in Middle Tennessee. Luckily, Tennessee will probably never run out of water. It doesn't really matter how dry it is, or how long it has been that way, just drill a little way and you WILL hit water. Some of the larger farmers around here aren't being really affected because they have taken advantage of wells and springs to keep their crops irrigated, but most can't afford that.

To top that off, we had a hard freeze at the most inopportune time last spring. All the peach and apple trees, and the blueberry bushes were in full bloom....guess what we aren't getting this summer and fall? The strawberry crop was affected, but luckily they were already further along than the other fruits and there was a half decent crop of strawberries. Unfortunately, I ended up paying $11 a gallon for the same thing I paid $7 a gallon for until this year, but at least I hav some strawberries in my freezer for the winter. I happened to be traveling in South Alabama recently where the peach crop was stunted but not destroyed. So a few peaches made it home with me. I have eaten three in the last week and a half. The rest are in the freezer. I'm thinking lo-carb homemade peach ice cream a few times this winter....(lo-carb ice cream...a future blog post)

Being a permanent low carber means I don't eat a lot of fruit. To me it is a wonderful treat. Most of what I pick or purchase will end up in small containers in my freezer to be pulled out later in the year and used for cooking or as a desert treat. (Or thrown into a fancy drink, or as part of a low carb smoothie.)

If you are lucky enough to live in an area of the country where you have lots of fresh fruits and veggies, please support the local farmers by stopping at their farm stands, responding to offers of off farm sales in the local papers, and hitting the farmer's market weekly. Our way of life depends on you.


Monday, June 4, 2007

Experimental Food June 4 '07

You know, I really miss stuffed potatoes, and stuffed potato skins. While looking at a totally unrelated recipe for stuffed tomatoes I realized the thing about the stuffed potato things was definitely NOT the potato part, but the stuffing! Of Course! Why not mush up the innards of other veggies that aren't so starchy and put the butter, grated cheese, crumbled bacon, and sour cream and chives into them! I can see using zucchini, or yellow squash for sure. Hollowed out tomatoes would hold all those things even after baking and still be firm enough to hold plenty of all that good stuffing stuff. Dr Atkins even had a recipe just for real stuffed potato skins. It never really seemed like a good idea to let a potato into the house while I was eating low carb, but I think my potato addiction is gone enough to be able to throw away the potato innards now. Another possiblility is to make little faux potato skins from a couple of layers of filo pastry cut into wedges, then cover with the stuffing goodies and bake them. I think stuffed potato nachos made from lo-carb tortillas might be awesome, too.

If anybody has any other ideas, or tries some of these, let me know. When I get home, I might just start experimenting.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

My thoughts on the “Low Fat Cow, Marge” and ViaLacta’s attempts to capitalize on it.

Jimmy Moore blogged about a cow that naturally produces 1% milk. Check it out at Livin La Vida Low Carb . Boy that got me to thinking. Maybe some researchers or scientists, or more likely marketing geek thinks this is a great thing, but looking at it from an agriculturalist's viewpoint, somebody is a moron.

I raise dairy goats, not cows. However, one of the things we do in the goatie world is measure the butterfat content of our milk. Each breed of goat has a specific amount of butterfat that traditionally is present in the milk. Some have more, others, less. (of course there are sometimes huge variations between individuals) In general, dairy goat breeders like to see more. The milk has a sweeter, richer flavor with more butterfat in it, duuuuhhh. (so does cows milk, and I’d be willing to bet dairy cow breeders strive to raise the butterfat percentages in their animal’s milk, too!) The Nubian breed (and pretty much all goats that originated in Africa, not just dairy goats) have the highest percentage of butterfat in their milk, and their milk tastes just luscious, in my opinion. I raise Alpine goats and they produce milk with slightly less fat than their Nubian relatives. My choice of goats is based more on their personality than their milk makeup. (I would love to get Nubian milk from a goat with Alpine disposition.) The breed that is usually used in commercial goat dairies is the Sannaan breed. There are two reasons for this, 1) generally speaking, they give the highest quantity of milk per goat, and 2) the milk is usually sold by the dairies to an outside cheese making facility. With less butterfat in the milk, your cheese yield is lower per gallon, thus the facility must buy a greater quantity of lower-fat milk to produce the same amount of cheese that could be produced by fewer gallons of the higher-fat milk. Makes sense that the dairies would want the creameries to buy more milk, so they just raise the goats that produce the most milk, but with the lowest butterfat! BUT, and this is important, goat milk processors generally do not market the cream products on their own like cow milk processors do. It's quite difficult to remove the cream from the milk, so it really wouldn't make a whole lot of economic sense. It's done now and then, but only for the novelty more than the money.

The NZ researcher only paid $218 for this cow. You can see how much the breeder valued this animal (they are usually sold for $1000 to $2000 each). He probably couldn’t wait to see it leave his farm! I can’t see any dairy breeder wanting an animal that barely had any fat in her milk. You see, all the skimmed milk out there in the stores had the fat extracted for butter and cream production. One gallon of milk yields more than just milk. It also yields some amount of cream. That is an additional product. The cream is churned into butter. (You have noticed that butter is now, and has always been more expensive than margarine, and cream more expensive than its diluted companion product, Half & Half.) Farmers, and milk processors, would be completely stupid to give up that extra source of income by breeding it out of their dairy herds.

Bottom line when it comes to dairy animals, regardless of the desire to sell low-fat milk, removing fat from the milk at the cow eliminates so much of the milk’s potential value only a moron would consider actually trying to keep doing it. Now, finding out why her milk contains more Omega-3 oils might be worthwhile to someone (not me). But I don’t see any value to soft cold butter... they’d probably hydrogenate it to make it hard! No, Marge is the next best thing to useless and I would have had her ground into hamburger, myself.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Action!

Memorial Day, a day to commemorate those who gave their lives in defense of our way of living. I guess we mainly see it as the first real holiday of the summer.

I just wanted to spend the day relaxing, but someone decided to ruin my day by hijacking my Internet Explorer. Luckily it is just on one computer. Why would someone do something so meaningless as that??? They can't possibly get anything out of it. The computer gets redirected to a page that doesn't even work, so if they were looking for hits, it just didn't do a thing for them.

I saw Emeril do a recipe the other night that I adapted for "LOWER CARB" ... I can't call it exactly low carb, but it sure looked good. The recipe is Ginger and Guava glazed ribs. I couldn't find low-carb guava jelly, so mine is Ginger and Apricot glazed ribs, but it's still true to the original Emeril idea. Mainly, it is ribs with a terrific dry rub baked at low heat, tightly covered in a pool of tequila! Once they are done, you cover them with this awesome lime, tequila, and Guava [ or Apricot] glaze and broil them for a few minutes. YUM! Emeril's original recipe is on the food channel site. I substituted Sugar Free Smucker's Apricot Jam for the Guava Jelly and Splenda for the sugar. I also used a single slab of full sized ribs instead of the baby back's because they were 4 times as expensive as the regular ones (and I'm nothing if not cheap!) I also used totally el-cheapo tequila for cooking. Emeril used Cabo Wabo, but then Sammy Hagar sent him a whole case to use for free. I'd use Cabo, too, if someone were sending me cases for free. LOL.

I also made a great pasta salad to go along using Dreamfields pasta, of course. It has thin slices of summer squash and zucchini, tomatoes, and a whole pound of my homemade goatmilk cheese in it, with oil and red wine vinegar, and a bunch of my fresh herbs.

Sammy, if you ever read this, I have a proposition: I'll send you homemade goatmilk cheese, soap, and lotion for a year, if you'll send me a case of your Tequila!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

About my Diet

One thing I haven’t written about me is that I live on an operating farm. We raise meat goats, dairy goats, laying hens, and rabbits. We also have many friends who raise cattle, and hogs. I am kind of picky (OK, almost militant) about the kind of things fed to animals meant for food, so that’s part of the reason I raise the animals I do, and I purchase beef and pork from my friends. I know full well what is in their feed. I know they haven’t been pumped full of antibiotics, or hormones and they haven’t been fed chicken poop! I detest processing chickens, so I still purchase “grocery store” chicken, but that isn’t a staple of my diet like it is some folks. I also eat vegetables pretty much only when they are in season and available from local farms. I support my neighbors! I do have a very large greenhouse and could grow salad fixings year round, but it’s being used mainly as a storehouse for stuff. My husband and I keep meaning to clean it out... But we both have day jobs, and we run a home based business (making skin care products from goat milk) in our “spare time” [HA].

So, eating low carb is probably a little easier (maybe cheaper) for me than it is for some folks. I also make my own cheese, and lately I have been experimenting with exotic sausage variations. Good food is fun!


Monday, April 16, 2007

Some Things are Obvious! (especially to the VICTIMS)

Why do people NOT stick to the Low Carb Diet once the weight is gone?

One of the most omnipresent criticisms of the LC diets is that “nobody can do it long term,” Personally, I have to take issue with that statement, but nonetheless, just in the last 2 weeks I have seen this statement attributed to innumerable doctors, nutritionists, and researchers; particularly since the Stanford research results were released. Even those “experts” who are willing to admit that low-carbing works to shed excess weight and improves blood lipid profiles always seem to be adding the comment “in the short term” to the end of its praises.

I don’t know about you, but I have seen a whole lot more people start and stop other diets, whether they were successful at losing weight or not, than just those on low-carb. But I digress. Those of us who live a low carb lifestyle (which by definition is not short term) are fighting an uphill battle that the low fatties, and lo-cal dieters never had to fight. They are not being bombarded by so-called “experts” warning them that they are damaging their kidneys (a myth), destroying their hearts (a myth), eating too much fat and protein (misinformation born of ignorance), and missing out on essential carbohydrates (no such things). Their doctors are not trying to dissuade them from eating low fat or reduced calories, but we have to search out doctors that are even willing to consider that we aren’t killing ourselves by eating low carb.

Everywhere you look, if you want to eat low fat or low calorie foods, they are available; particularly low fat. I can walk into any fast food joint and get a salad (low everything, and acceptable on all diets), but my choices of dressings are generally something crammed full of sugar, or something low-fat (containing even more sugar more often than not, than the non- low-fat versions). There are rack after rack of low-fat items available. There are granola bars featuring dried fruits (AKA concentrated sugar), in addition to all the other cereal and grain items available. Rice cakes, 100 calorie cookies, no sugar added breads and crackers mock us when we walk down the grocery store isle because cereals and grains are almost totally off limits to us, and we recognize they aren’t the “health foods” their manufacturers claim. And the “No Sugar Added” and “Fat Free” banners on things pretty much are my personal red flag to avoid an item like the plague. No Sugar Added only has to mean nobody put additional refined table sugar into the item, and Fat Free equals Sugar Full in my experience. (I can’t get over people on any kind of diet eating “Fat Free” hard candy made of 100% sugar! P.T. Barnum was right about the sucker born every minute.)

As a woman who has lost hundreds of pounds on low carb diets and eventually did just what the experts said, and gained it back I can tell you without a doubt that all the things above contributed to my demise. Eventually, I just got tired of fighting against the current. I ate what was available, I listened to the experts, and I got fat all over again while trying to do it their way.
You see, it was easier. It is still easier, and until there is a paradigm shift in the attitude of the medical establishment, it will always be easier. But for me, and millions of people like me, it will never work. We cannot eat unlimited fruits, or serving after serving of wheat, rice, and potatoes (even with no butter). We just aren’t made that way!

I have again lost a whole lot of weight via low carb, It was 3 years ago last April 4 that I decided there were enough convenience items, and support systems available to give it another try. The most important factor in my personal success is that I now have access to hundreds of like-minded low-carbers and the newest medical research via the Internet. I am much better armed than I was a decade ago to counter the low-fat and low-calorie propaganda machine. There are some excellent low-carb, high-fiber, sugar free foods out there. If I can’t get them locally, it doesn’t matter anymore. I can get them online. I will not go back to pure starches like white flour, and sugar now that I have discovered flax meal, nut meal, soy flour, and stevia. I don’t have to use it anymore, I have choices.

Unfortunately, a whole lot of people lack the motivation to go the extra mile necessary to stick with the lifestyle once the scale stops delivering good news every morning. Maybe they aren’t as dedicated to their health as they should be, or they aren’t keeping up with the truly miraculous results of the good research that is finally going on substantiating the health benefits of low carb eating. They do as I did decades ago, and begin to believe the misinformation out there about our way of eating. They are drawn to the lure of “normal eating” again. Buying the easy to find items and not having to tell the waitress, “no potato, or bread” really has an allure that I won’t deny.

Right now, I have to go out to glutton row and find lunch. My choices are still very limited, but at least I always have the Hardee’s low carb burger and the low carb menu at Cracker Barrel, so I consider myself lucky. I will consider myself and all the other low carbers out there even luckier when/if doctors and nutritionists lose their prejudice against low carbing, and when we can believe products claiming to be “sugar free” really are, and we won’t have to be mathematicians to read an ingredient label in search of hidden carbohydrates. In the meantime, I do believe it is possible to live a low carb lifestyle, and believe me, it is easier than it used to be, but I will always hope we reach the point where it is as easy to eat low carb as it is to eat low fat.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Great News for Atkids

I just went shopping at Wally World, and guess what I found? Atkins Shakes are on promotional: 6 for the price of 4! WooHoo!!! Hurry to WalMart (where I have found the lowest Atkins Shake prices anyhow) and stock up on the nice big 6 can packs. I don’t know how long this will last, or if any other stores are stocking them. Makes them waaayyy affordable!


Favorite places

I've been wanting to share this post for quite a while now. I know it is really hard to eat out and keep low-carb, unless you just really like eating salads all the time. Even when you find a nice high protein entree, it usually comes with a baked potato or fries! I always tell my waitresses "no bread, or potato!" It usually works. Sometime they will take pity on me and offer a salad or steamed veggies. (I love when they do that) But I wanted to let everyone know about my absolutely most favorite restaurant....Cracker Barrel.

If you haven't stopped at a Cracker Barrel since you started low-carbing because all you remember is huge platefulls of biscuits and tall stacks of pancakes then you are in for a big surprise. They have the most wonderful low-carb section of their breakfast AND lunch/dinner menu! The nicest thing about it is that they put the carb (total) count on each entree, and the low-carb sides and salad dressings. How about that for user-friendly?

The lunch/dinner menu has low-carb offerings starting with zero carb hamburger steak, to slightly higher carb offerings, of grilled catfish fillets, roast beef, the greatest bacon cheeseburger (no buns in sight) and grilled chicken fingers. Everything is just packed with flavor, including the side items (green beans, turnip greens good enough to make you slap your mama, baby carrots if you can spare a couple of extra carbs, and side salad).

There are over 500 Cracker Barrel restaurants in this country, so if you are travelling on or near an Interstate, keep your eyes peeled....and go to a real low-carb friendly restaurant. Just be sure to avoid the deserts, even the sugar free stuff isn't low carb. But I can forgive them that, since they aren't pushing it on the low carb menu.


Monday, March 26, 2007

More about me.
By December 2003, I was on the verge of needing a scooter to get around my small farm, even around my house. I was in constant pain in all my joints, and weighed WAAAYYY too much. I went on the Atkins Diet again (3rd time is a charm) because I knew that not only would I lose weight, which I desperately needed to do, but that I would just feel better. Well, about 4 months after going on low-carb, I was down to the weight I am at right now. My husband was amazed because, as he put it, "she is like a new person!"
I can walk back and forth to the barn, help out with the chores, hey, even get up and down out of the recliner without a crane! Anyway, my horrendous joint pains were all gone, I wasn't out of breath all the time, and I had some energy for the first time in years. I have maintained my 66 pound weight loss for 3 years without regaining it. I am still about 70 pounds overweight, though, and am hoping by being accountable to this blog, I will regain the motivation to go back to induction level carbs and finish losing that final half of my stubborn fat!Historically, on Atkins, I lost 85 pounds when I was 22. and 100 pounds when I was 34, but I did what almost everyone else does after dieting. I went back to eating the way I had before. Yes, you gain it all back plus another 20% in an amazingly fast time span. You can't blame that on using a Low-carb program to lose it, either, because everyone does it...regardless of how they lost the weight. I have tried all the other diets out there and on most of them, I actually gained weight. There isn't any doubt in my mind that I am exceptionally sensitive to carbohydrates and that explains why Atkins has been the only diet that worked for me. Most other low-carb programs still allow too many carbs for me to lose weight. If you watch my food diary you will see that I now eat (and maintain my weight) only 30 to 45 carbs a day. For me to lose, I have to stay at or below the Atkins specified induction level of 20 carbohydrates. You would think knocking 15 or 20 grams of carb off my meals wouldn't be a big thing, but it's a lot harder than it seems when that cuts my already small carb intake in half. 20 grams of carb is so little, that I really have to stay vigilant. BUT I know I can do it, and I would really like to get down to my ideal weight by the middle of summer. So, here is where I am starting....I appreciate your support.Sid

Sunday's Foods

Sunday's food diary:2 slices of low carb French toast, 2 scrambled eggs. 2 cups coffee, One 3 net carb Atkins bar, 3 pcs pizza (topping only: mushrooms, pepperoni, cheese), 1 ribeye steak, ½ small baked onion, One 2 net carb Atkins bar - Carbs for the day approx 35

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday Morning

Today is a little different from most. I am making my own breakfast. DH usually does that on the weekends. Well, I wanted French Toast. Luckily I had some LC bread in the fridge, battered it up and fried 2 pieces. I scrambled 2 eggs with a little salt and pepper and of course I used butter for cooking. I also used low carb syrup. I figured my breakfast was a grand total of 11 carbs. (Half a day of induction carbs if you are worried about staying at induction level...I'd say you should probably only do one piece of Toast. But you don't have to forego it completly :-)


The Permanent Low Carber

I've been low carbing off and on since Dr. Atkins published his first book. I know it works for me, and countless other people for weight loss and health improvements. I've backslid like most people on all diets, but now I live a permanent Low Carb Life, and never want to look back. I'll be posting my food journal here as well as sharing recipes, scientific articles about low carb as they come to my attention and admitting the hard parts of Low Carbing when I encounter problems (Yes, they do happen...but be honest, problems happen in EVERYTHING in life)

Thanks for reading, and check back often.