Thursday, May 5, 2011

My low-carb and gluten-free almond cookies video just hit 10,000 views on YouTube!

This is my one-and-only recipe video. It recently hit 10,000 views on YouTube, so I decided to post it again.


This is a recipe for almond cookies that are low-carb, sugar-free and gluten-free. Before you begin, pre-heat your oven to 300F. You'll need:

- 2 cups almond flour (i.e. ground almonds)
- 1/2 cup Splenda (or equivalent liquid Splenda)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
- 1/2 tsp salt (omit if you used salted butter)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pure almond extract

Combine all ingredients. Form dough into walnut-sized balls and place onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Press down lightly with fork. (Optional: You may also place an almond in the middle of the cookie.) Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool and enjoy! 30 carbs for entire batch - less if you use liquid Splenda (i.e. Sweetzfree).

You can buy Sweetzfree here.

Original recipe credit: Low Carb Luxury (very slow server).

I messed up the ending a bit, but this took so long to do that I'll just chalk it up to experience and make sure the next video's ending isn't chopped off!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Low-carb and gluten-free strawberry icebox pie



I first saw this recipe on one of my favourite television cooking shows: Cook's Country, a companion show to the excellent America's Test Kitchen. Both shows air on PBS. If you love to cook, you need to watch these shows! While not all recipes are suitable for low-carb, the tips and tricks are well worth the investment in time. There are also companion magazines that offer the recipes in print form: Cook's Illustrated (for the America's Test Kitchen show) and Cook's Country (for the Cook's Country show).

On a rerun episode last fall, Cook's Country featured a recipe for an strawberry icebox pie. It looked easy and fresh-tasting! Best of all, I immediately saw that it was very simple to convert this to sugar-free, low-carb and gluten-free by substituting the sugar for Splenda and replacing the traditional pie crust with one made with almond flour (can also substitute pecan meal).

There was also a topping recipe, but I didn't make it. I will include the low-carb'd version here, however, if you decide you'd like to try it.

First things first... the crust!

Crust:

- Pre-heat oven to 375
- 1.5 cups almond flour (pecan meal would work equally as well)
- 1 tsp cardamom (optional)
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 4 tbsp sugar substitute (I used granular Splenda)

Combine ingredients for crust and press into the bottom of a pie plate. Bake for 8-10 minutes until fragrant and beginning to brown. Once the crust is done, you can turn off the oven because you won't be needing it again for this recipe.

STEP ONE: Cook the filling.

- 2 lb frozen strawberries

STEP TWO: Add the gelatin mixture.

- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp unflavoured gelatin (be sure to measure this)
- 1 cup sugar equivalent (I used liquid sucralose, but one cup of granular Splenda is perfectly fine here)
- Pinch of salt

STEP THREE: Stir in the fresh berries.

- 1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin

1. COOK FROZEN BERRIES: Cook frozen berries in large saucepan over medium-low heat until berries begin to release juice, about three minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until thick and jam-like, about 25 minutes. VERY IMPORTANT: You need two cups of this mixture -- no more, no less. If you have extra at the end of 25 minutes, put it aside and eat it as a snack later. After measuring out two cups of the cooked strawberry mixture, put it back into the pot after putting the extra mixture aside. You should now have exactly two cups of the mixture in the pot. Leave off the heat while you prepare the gelatin mixture.

2. ADD GELATIN: Combine lemon juice, water, and gelatin in small bowl. Let stand until gelatin is softened and mixture has thickened, about five minutes. Stir gelatin mixture, sugar substitute and salt into cooked berry mixture and return to simmer, about two minutes. Transfer to bowl and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

3. ADD FRESH BERRIES Fold fresh berries into filling. Spread evenly in pie shell and refrigerate until set, about four hours. (Filled pie can be refrigerated for 24 hours.)

OPTIONAL TOPPING:

- 4 oz. (by weight) cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsp sugar substitute (i.e. granulated or liquid Splenda)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream

With electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, sugar substitute and vanilla until smooth, about 30 seconds. With mixer running, add cream and whip until stiff peaks form, about two minutes. Serve pie with whipped cream topping.

Enjoy!

Atkins Diet Recipes: Low-carb strawberry rhubarb crisp

Monday, February 7, 2011

Note: Weekly weigh-in posts

Future weigh-in results will only be posted at 10-lb milestones, i.e. -100, -110, -120, etc.

Why? I think the weekly weigh-in posts have run their course and I've grown tired of posting them, quite frankly.

People seem to enjoy the recipes and other similar posts. The weekly weigh-ins barely get any hits.

With that said, it's full steam ahead!

Look forward to another recipe this week for a no-bake strawberry icebox pie!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Recipe: Low-carb smoothie

Just wanted to share my latest version of a low-carb smoothie with you. The instructions are pretty simple... throw it all in a blender and process until smooth! Makes one very large smoothie. Can be refrigerated. Just remember to shake or stir it after storing because it will thicken because of the chia seeds.

- 1.5 cups of unsweetened almond milk (flavoured or unflavoured -- just makes sure it's unsweetened)
- 1/3 cup Balkan or Greek-style full-fat yogurt (soft tofu may be subsituted if you're avoiding dairy)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup (heaping) of frozen sliced strawberries
- 1/4 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries
- 1 scoop of unflavoured and unsweetened whey protein powder (make sure it's sweetened with sucralose if it's sweetened)
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
- 1 tbsp greens drink powder (i.e. Greens Plus)
- 6-8 tsp equivalent of sugar substitute (I use 6-8 drops of Sweetzfree)
- 1 tsp of banana extract (optional, but highly recommended)

Enjoy! Feel free to experiment!

If I'm craving sweets or don't feel like making something elaborate, I'll make this smoothie. It's filling and satisfying!

Atkins Diet Recipes: Low-carb stuffed mushrooms

Monday, January 31, 2011

Week #189: Gained +2 lb for a total of -90 lb

*Sigh* Annoying. That's all I'm going to say. I was a (reasonably) good boy this week. Nothing major out of line. I dunno.

But...

No excuses!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gary Taubes' appearance on Canada's #1 radio show

On Tuesday, January 25, science writer, journalist and author Gary Taubes appeared on CBC's Q, Canada's #1 radio program hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. Taubes has written two books debunking research that supposedly proved that low-fat/high-carb diets were the way to go:
Click here to listen to Taubes' interview on Q.

Atkins Diet Recipes: Low-carb buffalo chicken dip

Atkins Diet Recipes: Low-carb biscuits and gravy

Here's the video for the revolution rolls recipe:


Monday, January 24, 2011

Week #188: Lost -3.5 lb for a total of -92 lb


Well, now, that's more like it! I was a good little boy this week and broke the holiday candy cycle I'd fallen into. I can certainly handle a nice -3.5 lb loss!

I'm planning out some low-carb recipe videos that I'll be putting online soon. If you have any suggestions for videos you'd like to see, let me know! As long as it's low carb, I'll consider it... even de-carbing a sugary recipe would be a nice challenge.

Remember... if I can do it, so can you! Have a great week and don't give up!

No excuses!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 Low-Carb Cruise to Jamaica

The 4th Annual Low-Carb Cruise is May 1-6, 2011, leaving out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on the Carnival Freedom featuring special low-carb guest speakers Fred Hahn, Jackie Eberstein, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, Dr. Mary Vernon, Dana Carpender, Tom Naughton, Dr. Michael Fox and Jimmy Moore. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Atkins Diet Recipes: Low-carb teriyaki wings


To my knowledge, Diet Coke with Splenda is not sold in Canada -- at least not where I live. The only diet cola with Splenda in Canada -- again, to my knowledge -- is Diet Rite. In my area, it's available at Sobeys.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week #187: Gained +2.5 lb for a total of -88.5 lb


Last Monday (January 10), I was interviewed on CBC Radio about my big weight-loss success in low-carb eating.

Today, however, I don't feel so successful. My post-holiday slump continued as I did not resist temptation on too many occasions. I might as well be honest because the scale doesn't lie: I cheated like a son-of-a-bit**. For the first time in a couple of years, I'm below the -90 lb mark. Shameful.

Some will say, "Don't be so hard on yourself." "Bah humbug!", I say! Why? Because I know better... and when you know better, you should be disgusted with yourself a bit. I've continued to dabble in the few sugary treats (damn you, licorice allsorts!) that started to sneak back in to my diet this holiday season. I thought I could handle it. I even said on CBC Radio that I could handle it.

I think this proves that I can't. I'm the type of person who can eat a bowl of frosting by putting a straw in it and sniffing it up through my nostril. Oh don't laugh... I probably could if I tried. I have a tremendously strong sweet tooth -- and to tempt fate like I've been doing over the holidays is to court disaster.

Today, I'm the heaviest I've been in years. I'm not happy. Yes, I've still lost a lot of weight, but I've been gaining because I haven't been eating completely low-carb. It works very very well for me when I do.

Don't assume by these gains that low-carb doesn't work. In fact, it's because I've slipped off the rails a bit that proves it DOES work. I lost weight effortlessly when I was on track... but these past few weeks have not been great.

Today, it stops. Right there. Period. No more dabbling. Nor more experimenting. I have a sweet tooth and tempting it with even the smallest bits of sugar is like poking a sleeping bear. Not a good idea!

Next week, there will be a loss. I am also planning to produce one recipe per week. The first one will be online soon.

If you've slipped off the rails a bit -- or a lot, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, look in the mirror and tell yourself to smarten up! Enough is enough. Christmas is over. It doesn't last until July. Period.

See you all next week with a nice loss.

No excuses.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week #184, #185, #186: Gained +3.5 lb for a total of -91 lb

Gaining only 3.5 lb after Christmas is an OK result, considering my gains in past years. While I'm not thrilled, I'm sure being much more careful in the past week after New Year's has made a difference. My only fear -- strangely -- is that I didn't gain enough to scare the crap out of me and put me back on the post-holiday goodness trail.

Yeah, I know that sounds weird... but I seem to have gotten away with a lot to only have gained 3.5 lb.

With that said, however, it's time to hunker down and fly straight!

If you've fallen off the wagon a bit over the holidays, don't stay away from the scale for too long. KEEP WEIGHING YOURSELF or you may end up going months without doing so... and you know what that means... DISASTER.

No excuses!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!


I hope you're all enjoying a joyous, safe and healthy holiday season!

I'll be back with another weigh-in on January 10. In the meantime, I'll post any interesting videos and recipes that I come upon.

Make 2011 the year that low-carb eating changes your life!