Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I Scream for Ice Cream!

I love ice cream.  I eat it all year long.  We live in western NY, and I believe our heater runs about 8 months out of the year and the AC perhaps a single week, but that doesn't stop my ice cream love affair.  I eat it when there's four feet of snow outside my door and I'm shivering from the cold. 

That's usually my downfall with eating low carb.  There's a lovely little ice cream shack in the next town over, that serves fairly locally made ice cream (that's very good), and Chad and I frequent it at least once a week in the summer.  Sometimes three times a week, because we love ice cream.  And I've been known to get two giant scoops of the melty goodness, which as you can imagine, probably has a billion grams of sugar in it.  Especially the kinds with pieces of cake or bits of brownie, or ripples of caramel (aka browned sugar).  I know if I want to stick to this diet for any length of time, I'm going to have to get serious about making my own ice cream. 

Thankfully, I discovered that Carolyn over at All Day I Dream About Food has a pretty impressive list of low carb ice cream recipes.  Last night, I tried her recipe for peanut butter fudge ripple ice cream, and it was pretty darn good.  I haven't tried it now that it's fully ripened, but even if it's still kind of hard and icy, it'll still be delicious. 

It does call for some things I don't normally have in the house, like Swerve sweetener and almond milk, but I have a trick up my sleeve.  My mom and I frequently go to a discount grocery store run by some Amish folks.  They go around and buy short dated items and stuff from stores that are closing, and resell it for amazing prices.  I got seven bags of Bob's red mill almond flour for $1 a piece!  That's a savings of about $60, no kidding.  I put it in my big freezer so it'll stay good longer.  The other day, I was lucky enough to run across two bags of Swerve sweetener for $2 a piece (it's usually $11 online), and some cartons of almond milk for 69 cents.  I love that store!  It's funny to listen to other people walking through the store, telling their friends to watch out for outdated food!  Folks, the expiration date is a suggestion, not a hard and fast rule.  It's almost always still good to eat for a long time after the date (with the exception of certain fresh food and things like nuts and grains, which can go bad/rancid, but you'll definitely know by how bad it smells).

I probably should take some pictures of my ice cream, but it's all the way downstairs and I'm happy right where I am. 

I'm thinking about buying some cake/wafer type cones to eat my ice cream on.  It's made of starch, but it's practically nothing but air.  I believe a whole cone is around 3 carbs.  And ice cream just isn't as fun when you eat it with a spoon. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Low Carb Thing

Well, it's been two week now since Chad and I decided to go back to serious low carbing, so I thought it was time I gave you an update.

I feel great!  Why does this surprise me so much?  I know that low carb makes me feel great, but here I am, shocked by my merry mood.  It can't exactly be the weather that's making me feel good; it's been kind of cold and wet and icky.  Hormones might be playing a part in this, but I don't think it's the whole reason.  I've been happy for a change, and looking forward to my day (except for laundry day, blargh!).  I find myself singing a lot randomly, usually about how happy I am.  I even took a walk today just for the pure joy of it, which is pretty amazing.

I've decided that I'm going to weigh myself for now, and if I start to obsess over what it's seeing, I'll stop.  And I also decided that it's ok to want to lose weight; I know the limits of my body by now, I'm not going to try to get down to 130 pounds or something silly for my body shape or push it to be super strong.  I just want to fit into my old clothes and be able to do the things I love (like biking, hiking, gardening) without it wearing me out.

I feel pretty ashamed to say out loud what my starting weight was.  I'd be ok admitting this to strangers on the internet, but my husband also reads my blog, and somehow it's much more shameful to admit it to him.  I try to tell myself that it's just a number, and there's no reason to feel like such a terrible failure about gaining weight under the circumstances, but it's no use.  I just feel bad.

So maybe that means I need to just say it and get it over with.

My starting weight two weeks ago was 236.6 pounds.

In my two weeks of low carb dieting (somewhat induction/keto style, though probably higher in the carbs, maybe 30-40), I've lost 7 pounds.  That's really good!

I've been reading my old Atkins book.  I actually never read the whole thing through when I first got it; I had done so much reading on the internet and of other books, that I mostly got it for my mom and for the recipes.  It's a pretty interesting read, if you've never had the chance to yet.  I like Dr. Atkins style of writing; it's mostly pretty laid back and very engaging, like he's talking to you.

I realized, reading his book, that Chad and I have never actually tried a pretty low carb diet despite being into low carb stuff for about four years now.  We've always been on the higher end of the spectrum, more 70-100 carbs, when we were seriously low carbing it (which, to be honest, didn't happen as often as I'd like).  I wonder if that's why I wasn't able to lose more on it.  Or perhaps it's because I'm just not meant to be lower than 180 pounds.

I bought some unmodified potato starch so we can start getting more RS into our diet.  I plan on buying plantain flour next week and start mixing them up a bit.  I stopped drinking my water kefir, but I eat yogurt almost every morning and we have homemade sauerkraut in the fridge too.  I don't want to hurt my gut bugs eating a low carb diet, not after working so hard to get them in shape.  I need to look into other fermented foods I can try making that's lower in carbs, like cucumber pickles or beet kvass.  Or maybe I should look into probiotic pills.  That would be the easiest way to make sure I get what I need, but probably the most expensive.

I'm still not sure if I want to live my life totally low carb; I've read so much about how starches actually are good for you when they're the right ones.  But it's clear to me that I'm not going to lose weight eating that way, and it might be worth giving up the good starches for a while to get my body back in balance.  Like Dr. Atkins said in his book, if your body is unbalanced, you need to eat a died unbalanced in the opposite direction to find balance.  The picture explained it better that I just did, sorry.

Wish me luck!  I'm going to try getting my body back to health.  It feels so much easier to stick with this now that my mood is so much better.