Monday, February 18, 2013

Low Carb Macaroni and Cheese and Valentine's Dinner

Friday I took Chuck to get his second steroid injection in the neck by his pain management doctor. Last time was such a good experience for him that we were expecting the same this time. He wasn't supposed to eat anything before his appointment which was at noon. So I was being supportive and only had a few peanuts to stave my hunger and figured we'd eat lunch together as soon as his injection was over. Well, the doctor was running late and the appointment was for a different time. We didn't get to eat anything until 3:30. By that time we were starving!

We went to a Mexican restaurant and I asked them not to put chips on the table. Why endure that kind of temptation? Instead I got tea and a cobb salad. Was so good and hit the spot.
 This injection didn't go as well. Chuck was nauseous afterwards, tired and his neck hurt. It's Monday and it's still hurting. It's disappointing to say the least. So with a nauseated, hurting hubby, we didn't do much Friday.

Saturday Chuck made egg and cheese and bacon omelet thing. Good way to start the day.
Then it was off to an Asian market. That was a LOT of fun! SO many different foods and spices. Many of them weren't labeled in English so I had not idea what they were. I did pick up a metal pot scrubber I needed. The English translation cracked me up!
I also picked up a beef tenderloin for $21! I cut them up in to 11 1.5" steaks. Not bad! That's around $2 per filet mignon.
Beautiful! I have each one seasoned and vacuum sealed to go in the Sous Vide.

I also picked up a pork belly to try to make my own bacon. I'm not sure if it will be better than the stuff at the grocery store or not but I at least want to try it. Not too often you can say you're makin' bacon.

I wanted to vacuum seal it and while getting it ready I noticed that it still has the skin on it. Ewwww. Then I found a couple of white pig hairs still attached to the skin. EWWWWWW! I broke out in a little cold sweat and quickly sealed and froze the pork belly. I was not expecting that. The episode of the pork belly to be continued......

It was a busy day of going to places all over town but it was fun too. Stopped at Red Robin for a burger. Did you know they will wrap any burger in lettuce? Messy but good. They also have steamed broccoli as a substitution for fries.
 Went shopping at Whole Foods and got some aged cheddar and some shirataki noodles. I'm a sucker for good cheese. It's one of my favorite things. That and spicy foods.

After going to yet another grocery store it was time to head home. I made myself a bowl of low carb macaroni and cheese. Omg. I haven't been a fan of shirataki noodles but this was so good. I got Rachel and Chuck to try it and they both agreed it was great. 2 grams carbs. That's it. Oh, how I've missed you mac n cheese!
 I got the recipe from Fat Fast Cookbook ($4.99 digital). I think I may have been going a little overboard on my protein lately. According to the books, I should be eating high fat, moderate protein, low carb. I have been eating high protein, moderate carb, low to moderate fat. Haven't planned it that way; it just happened.

The Fat Fast Cookbook is for people who have hit a plateau and want a guaranteed weight loss breakthrough without losing lean mass. It's for losing your fat only. It's very high fat, moderate protein, very low carb and very low calorie. 1000 calories per day.

I'm not doing a fat fast but I wanted the recipes and was intrigued by it. I have read about Jimmy Moore's incredible success with nutritional ketosis (not to be confused with ketoacidosis which is deadly). He's lost 66 pounds in 9 months. Not too shabby! I may dabble with it and see how it goes. The one thing I do know is I respond well to keeping my carbs low. Carbs are not an enemy to someone who has a normal metabolism. I do not. I wish I did because this girl loves her carbs. LOVES! :)

Anyway, the recipes in the Fat Fast are good whether you use their recommended short term fast to kick start your weight loss again or not. I'm glad I got it for the mac and cheese recipe alone. I'm wanting some right now, as a matter of fact!

Sunday we slept in a little. We stayed up too late watching funny stuff on TV. Impractical Jokers is so juvenile but I laugh my fanny off every single time I watch it.

So we got up, picked up Charlie from a friend's house where he had a sleepover, had breakfast and started preparing for our Valentine's dinner with the kids.

I like Valentine's Day but sometimes all of the hype is just ridiculous. I will not go out to eat on Valentine's Day because it's crazy crowded. This year we were trying to decide whether to go out on Sunday for Valentine's, make a splurge meal at home or keep it low carb. Last Sunday I had a bit of a scare after having a high carb day and I did not want to go through it again (pounding heart, pain in chest, dizzy, felt like I was about to pass out, anxiety and much more!). It's easy to stay motivated when you have a scare like that. So we made the decision to have a homemade low carb dinner at home. I decorated the dining room. The centerpiece is filled with red, pink and white M&Ms. Cute. :)
 I should mention that the fact that the centerpiece is not centered is driving me crazy in the picture. Ahhhh! OCD issue? And those two books on the bookshelf. You see them? Somebody laid them on top instead of standing them straight. Moving on....

Instead of flowers and chocolates, I got a bottle of wine, a card and a kitchen torch! I love it!!! This thing is hot! I got Chuck a bottle of his favorite cologne.
 This dinner called for a bit of time in the kitchen. While cooking I made some nachos. I realize this sounds disgusting but even my kids like this. I put pork skins on a plate, top with cheddar, microwave until the cheese is melted then top with sour cream and jalapenos. Yum! I know, I know. But don't knock it until you've tried it. :) Oh, I bet this would be good with fajita or taco meat!
Chuck and I worked in the kitchen for around 3.5 hours, taking many breaks while things cooked or whatever. It was fun and we managed to keep the kitchen clean the whole time. Bonus!

Main dish was Chicken Parmesan Pasta bake topped with fresh basil. Wow! It was incredible! I took a recipe from America's Test Kitchen and reworked it to fit my needs. I made Kent Altena's fried chicken which my son, the fried chicken aficionado, claimed was some of the best he had eaten and liked it even more than my perfect tacos. That's a high compliment right there.

Instead of penne pasta, I used spaghetti squash and a bit of riced cauliflower for more bulk. Next time I'll use two spaghetti squash instead of one. I also cut way back on the liquids since I didn't have a pasta to soak them up. Beautiful and tasty.
I made cauliflower crust garlic mozzarella bread sticks and homemade pizza sauce to dip them in. I loved it. The rest of the group was not as impressed. I even used my torch to brown the top. :)
Dessert was Peanut Butter Brownie Bites. These were great! And cute too.
Everything (except the glass of wine) was low carb and gluten free. I was full afterwards but didn't feel bloated. I also didn't have any racing heart afterwards! Yay! Dinner was a success and a lot of fun. I served the kids' water in wine glasses and we ate while listening to Frank Sinatra and Glenn Miller. Very nice evening.

So all week I have been eating perfectly. Not one slip up nor any desire to "cheat." Hopefully last Sunday's scare is enough to motivate me to keep on track. So far, so good.

I also feel so happy! My experience is that when I eat "off" I feel a little down and moody from time to time. I'm not sure about the science behind the food connection with moods but I feel that they must be linked somehow.

No racing heart. Not once. This is a big deal since I have read over and over how people with insulin resistance are at a much greater risk for heart disease and stroke which is something that happens on my mom's side. I don't want it, thank you very much!

I've been sleeping soundly. I had been having trouble staying asleep. I would have trouble falling asleep, wake up throughout the night, then wake up exhausted. This week I have been going to sleep easily and staying asleep and feeling rested in the morning. Could it have anything to do with the food? Maybe I'm not waking up because my heart isn't racing at night? I'm not sure what the cause but I'm relieved.

Anxiety issues are gone. Maybe this is why I'm so happy? I would like to know if there is any link between anxiety and diet. There may or not be. I'm  glad my anxiety is gone though. Because it sucks!

My energy levels are up. I've been wanting to add exercise to my routine but just lacked the energy lately. Now I feel energetic and can go, go, go all day without crashing. I'm actually wanting to go out and exercise now!

All good things to report right now. Weigh in will not be until March 1. I hope my two weeks of eating poorly on the road didn't hurt my weight too much but we'll see. At least I'm on the wagon now and I feel my tummy has gone down somewhat.

See ya Wednesday!


  1. Im totally confident it wont hurt you!!
    stay the course now and youll be fine.



  2. I can't wait to try that tenderloin.
    Thanks for spending time with me in the kitchen Sunday. What a blast that was!

    Keep up the hard work. You are looking great!

    1. Thanks, Chuck. I had fun too. And I always appreciate all of your support.

  3. I just love that your whole family did Valentine's together - decorations and all. Very sweet.

    1. It was nice. I hate excluding them from things. Except anniversary trips. Lol
      We had a good time. :)

  4. Love the family valentine celebration. And the fact you got a blow torch! My husband gave me a cherry pitter last year, 'cause he knew I wanted one but couldn't really bring myself to buy it. Its fantastic and I thought the gesture was very romantic (albeit practical) Hope Chuck is feeling better today and you continue to feel good and happy.

  5. I started Atkins Induction Jan. 1 and have since moved closer to Keto . I found your blog through Google Alerts and your low carb macaroni and cheese recipe really caught my attention. I have a hard time with those noodles and have tried every trick everyone has mentioned. I have not given up hope. It is worth it to try again to be able to eat mac and cheese! You have some great photos, thank you for sharing them. I'll be a new reader for sure!

    1. So nice to meet you, Chrystal!
      The texture of the noodles got me. I like them better if they're cut up I smaller pieces I found. The macaroni and cheese recipe is in Fat Fast cookbook if you're interested. It's $4.99 for a digital copy.
      Ive only made two of the recipes so far but they were both very good!

    2. Here's the recipe for the mac n cheese. I found it online:

      1 packet tofu shirataki, preferably fettuccine width
      2 tablespoons heavy cream
      1 tablespoon whipped cream cheese
      1 1/4 ounces cheddar cheese — shredded
      ½ tablespoon coconut oil
      Drain and rinse 1 packet of tofu shirataki — I like the fettuccine width or the hard-to-find macaroni version. Put ‘em in a bowl, and nuke them on high for 90 seconds or so. Drain them again. Nuke them again. Drain them again. This should get the excess water out of them.
      Add everything else to the bowl, and stir till the cheese melts and you have a smooth sauce. That’s all!
      - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
      1 serving with: 339 Calories; 33g Fat (86.4% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber


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