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Crunchy Buffalo Balls

17 Sep

This recipe is modified from this one and this one for a low carb diet. They were a little less firm than I would have liked, but they had a great flavor and good crunch-just what I needed!

2 ½ cups cooked chicken breast or tenderloins

1 ¼ cups shredded cheddar

2 ounces of cream cheese

1/4 to ½ cup Frank’s Hot sauce (more if you like it hotter)

3 tablespoons bleu cheese

1 ½ cup crushed hot pork rinds

2/3 cup almond flour

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine cooked chicken, cream cheese, bleu cheese, cheddar cheese, and hot sauce in a bowl. Mix well. Roll into 1 inch balls. Take almond flour and pork rinds and combine on a plate, beat two eggs in a separate bowl. Dip balls into egg, then roll in rind/flour mixture. Cook for 15 minutes.

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Brainwashing by the Media

15 May

My husband and I were talking about something this weekend that struck me: brainwashing by the media, with regards to health and weight. I think it’s pretty common knowledge these days that there’s a constant pressure made by the media to look skinny and be a certain size, while also constantly berating us with ads for fast food. However, I thought a lot about the recent health and organic craze, and how it has been (I think) more harmful than helpful in my life. I’ve grown into this pattern of dramatic overeating; i.e., 3,000+ calories a day for a few days, to a dramatic overhaul (no breads, grains, only “natural foods” and more or less a paleo diet.) I’ve gotten into this mode where, (due to fitness and health gurus, often brought about by the media) that I’m not eating better unless I’m eating “clean” or “paleo” or “organic.” I feel like unless I’m creating these super healthy meals that look like something Tony Horton would eat, or-God forbid, if I eat any fast food, I’m somehow failing. I’ve been so conditioned lately to think that bread is bad, processed is bad, so why even bother? It’s become this all or nothing mentality, and it’s proved detrimental for my weight and my health. There is such a pattern of guilt, shame and over-eating. To think that even though I’m dieting, but not in the “right” way, has just amplified those feelings. I remembered that the first time I lost a great deal of weight, it was by cutting portions and eating more healthful foods. Not 100%, nothing but healthful foods, but being more reasonable and using moderation. The second time I lost weight, I did the exact same thing and was successful. I’m going to try to attempt the same thing for a third time. I think there are a lot of well-meaning people out there who truly believe that paleo or all organic is the ONLY way to go. I don’t believe that, and maybe neither should you.

Turnips and Rutabagas

20 Sep

How do you feel about turnips? Probably disgusted…or afraid. I was, and then I tried them. Oooooh man, they were great. I used them in place of potatoes in a pot roast I made last night. I liked them and even the kids liked them! My oldest son doesn’t even like potatoes, but he enjoyed the turnips. Turnips are a nice low-carb alternative to potatoes. They also seemed to go easy on my stomach, so that is also a plus. I’ve also read that rutabagas make a great alternative in french fries, but I was less than impressed. The recipe I used called for peeled and sliced rutabagas-about 1/4″ thickness, like steak fries. Then it suggested to fry them in butter in the skillet. Everyone likes fries differently, and I like mine super crispy. These were soggy and had a funky taste to them. I’m going to try them again, but this time maybe try baking them? I’ve heard before that you need to fry and re-fry fries in order for them to be crispy. Idk…I’ve never had much luck with homemade fries, even of the potato variety. Any suggestions would be helpful because that is one of those things that I really miss on my low-carb diet…

The Lazy Idealist: Protest in the 21st Century

21 Aug

Facebook. Twitter. Huffington Post comments section. All these places have become appropriate outlets for speaking your mind. These days, technology has made it so easy for the typical idealist to protest something. Kony 2012. Chick-Fil-A. Hot-button issues that fade almost as quickly as they showed up in our news feed. It makes you wonder, do we (Americans) have the ability to incite a change anymore?

The issue was brought up to me today by my husband, Roger. Let me give you a little back story. Last week, I was approached via email by the local Chick-fil-A to do face painting for one of their family events. This was not a surprise, since I had worked for them a handful of times over the past year, prior to the “incident.” Since then, I had clogged up everyone’s news feed with articles about how it isn’t a first amendment issue and how it is important to NOT support Chick-fil-A financially if you support gay rights. I was NOT in attendance of the thousands of people who supported them on “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” and I was NOT going to pay money to eat there again. Despite all of that, I didn’t want to outright say, “no.” First of all, this particular location has zero control over their CEO’s statements or his financial contributions. Secondly, this location financially contributes to my son’s school, as well as many local and important charitable organizations. I found myself in a pickle. I had an idea! I decided that I would raise my price to almost double what I had charged them previously. That way, when they said that they could not pay me what I asked, I could bow out without having to explain the REAL reason why I didn’t want to participate. But then….my plan backfired! She agreed to the the price and said that she looked forward to seeing me on Tuesday! “Well shit,” I said, but decided that *technically* I still wasn’t financially contributing to them and was actually TAKING their money, and my conscience was satisfied with that rationalization.

Then today, the day of the actual event,  my dear husband decides to point out my hypocrisy. I explained futilely that it really WASN’T a betrayal to gay rights but that I was actually doing the opposite. He was attempting to get me to realize that perhaps I wasn’t so passionate about the issue after all. After some name calling and a lot of hurt feelings on my part, I came to write this blog. He is right. Dammit, he is. I hate saying that about this, but he is. In this day and age, it has become so easy to “get behind” certain issues because we don’t actually have to sacrifice anything in response. I said to my husband, “but I’m still not eating there! What would you have done? Would you have turned down the job? We need money! What about the gay employees? Do you think they should quit if they disagree enough to ‘protest’ it like I did?” He replied, “yes, I do.”

“A real protest requires sacrifice.”

So what have I sacrificed? Some greasy chicken sandwiches? My friends’ sanity when I won’t shut up about this issue? Even when the Occupy Wall Street movement was happening, a lot of us (myself included) agreed, but did nothing. “I have a job,” “I have children,” “I would be there if they would demonstrate a clear and concise demand.” It seems that these days, it is so easy to have an opinion, but nothing seems to be getting done. People are just getting angrier and becoming further from a common ground, but yet not going out to either vote, write to congressman, or donate their time to organizations they believe in. Sure, we do 5k’s once in a blue moon for a cause, but what are we doing really?

Kickin’ ass and kickin’ carbs

18 Aug

This is week 3 of low carb dieting, not counting the off-days I had while on vacation last week. I’ve already lost 9 lbs. I feel great. I know that this is something I won’t do my entire life, and to be honest, I can’t wait to start adding back fruit. That’s pretty odd considering I’ve gone most of my life without consuming it, but lately, I have missed them. I feel pretty ok with writing off bread for the rest of my life, with the occasional splurge. My stomach feels better, I have more energy, and I really don’t miss it all that much. It’s so nice to be able to eat when I’m hungry, and to feel full for a longer length of time. When I was doing Weight Watchers, even with “unlimited fruits and veggies,” I felt like I was starving most of the time. Hopefully, once I lose the majority of my weight, I’ll be able to convert to no processed carbs (bread, pasta, candies, cakes) lean protein, and healthy fats without too much difficulty. Right now though, I’m going to enjoy my bacon and steak. 🙂

Low carb vs. low fat?

12 Aug

In this day and age, information is always at your fingertips. You don’t even need a computer to help resolve arguments over who sings what song, whether or not Pepsi took out “one nation under God,” or to find out the meanings behind the most recent meme. Every drunken dispute can be dissolved merely by pulling out your smart phone, and searching on Google. However, despite all this data, it’s still virtually impossible to research the healthiest way of living. Much of what we hear about nutrition comes from what is currently trending in society. First it was low fat, then low carb, then South Beach, then The Zone, now Paleo and gluten free seem to be all the rage. But where are the facts? So many websites are full of hidden agenda-it seems as though sometimes, it’s difficult to trust even government websites. I wish I could say I had the answers to nutrition, but unfortunately I don’t. I’m asking my followers for some help. What I CAN say, is my stomach has been relatively pain (and blood) free for the week that I’ve been following Atkin’s. I cheated Friday and Saturday (McDonald’s and Taco Bell, I know I know…awful) and I’m certainly feeling the backlash today. Any and all suggestions are helpful. What is the best diet for you? What has brought you the most success, and more importantly, what makes you feel the best?

Fried Cheese Taco Bowl

7 Aug

Today I had a delicious, decadent dinner. So far on Atkin’s, I’ve tried to stay cognizant of the amount of fat I’ve been eating and, in general, try not to go overboard. Buuuut, tonight I was craving tacos. I still have http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781931412063?redirected=true&selectCurrency=USD&gclid=CN7z8uSx1LECFYQGRQodxigAKQ with a wonderful recipe on how to make “fried cheese.” My initial thought was breaded mozzarella sticks, as probably most of you did, but this is simply just what it says, cheese that is fried. I’ve decided to share the recipe because it really is delicious. You can either eat it alone, or use it as a taco bowl or taco shells. Really there are lots of possibilities, but I used mine as a taco bowl. Also, if you’re into low carb eating, I REALLY suggest purchasing that book. Anyway, happy eating!

 

Fried Cheese

Coat the bottom of a non-stick pan with cooking spray. Turn your burner to a med to med-high heat for this. Add oil, I prefer to use olive oil, and make sure it completely covers the bottom of the pan. Add shredded cheese; I prefer cheddar. Sprinkle it around in a circle, based on how large you want your taco shell. It doesn’t necessarily have to cover the entire bottom if you don’t want to. Anyway, wait until the edges turn a crispy brown, and then with a spatula, carefully turn over the cheese and let it cook on the other side. If you’d like to make a bowl, simply lay the cheese circle over ceramic bowl that has been turned upside-down. If you want to make a taco shell, fold the cheese in half, pry it open, and wait until it cools. Then you can fill it how you want! I chose ground beef (sans taco seasoning since it is FULL of carbs) lots of lettuce, sour cream, a little ranch, and a little more cheese (are you seeing the theme here?)

Picture below. Perhaps in the future I will take pictures of the steps but I really didn’t think about sharing until after it was made and devoured. Image