Intermittent Fasting

Fasting is not something you think about when creating an eating plan, but that is exactly what it is – periods of time when you are not eating combined with shorter periods of time when you are eating. It’s simple, healthy and effective. We’ve all heard that “not eating is super unhealthy”, but when was the last time you set the alarm to get you up at night to eat? Fasting is something we do every day.Our bodies were designed to perform during famines with increased focus and energy to allow us to find food. The food companies cannot make money if you are not eating, so they have fed us the lie that we need to eat constantly, which feeds their wallets and degrades our health! There are many hormones and processes the body experiences only when fasting that are super beneficial to our health, but we rarely experience in the “always eating” world we live in. If you have an interest, don’t take my word for it, do a bit of reading and decide to experience some health benefits as well as your clothes fitting a bit looser. 

A few great books on the subject are by Gin Stephens – DELAY, DON’T DENY and FEAST, FAST, REPEAT.  Dr Jason Fung goes into the science in THE OBESITY CODE.

Getting started is easy: extend your overnight fast skipping breakfast, and eat smaller portion, low carb for lunch, and a sensible protein and veggie dinner, then stop at a fixed time a few hours before sleeping. From there, extend it to include lunch time and open a “window of eating” of 3-4 hrs for dinner, and you will see and feel the results.

Recipe: Veggie Smoothie

Smoothies seem to be the rage right now. When I first heard about it, I was not interested in trying them.  I had no desire to drink my food. Then I was doing some research about tightening up my diet. I would love to have an amazing muscular stomach, which means I need to be leaner than I am currently. My neighbor then started telling me she was juicing her breakfast, feeling great and dropping weight, without changing anything else. I thought ok, if I need to add more veggies into my diet and I am not interested in eating cups of veggies for breakfast, maybe I need to think about the juicing or smoothie option.  I started looking for veggie smoothie recipes online. All the recipes I found online had lots of carbs- fruit and strong flavored veggies I do not want for breakfast.  

Necessity is the mother of invention!

I started with favorite mild veggies that pack a  good veggie punch, and I came up with my recipe. This has become my breakfast most mornings. I can put it together on the way out the door and drink it at my desk while I am working. I am aiming for about 300 calories, and relatively low carb. I do not want to take a ton of insulin for breakfast. Net carbs = 17 – I am having to take 2-3 units.

  • 1c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 c fat free greek yogurt
  • 100g zucchini
  • handful of greens
  • 2 cups cauliflower
  • 1 scoop protein powder

1 cup or 240grams of unsweetened Almond milk

1/2 cup or 115 grams of plain greek yogurt

100grams of zucchini, about 1/2 a cup

1 handful of greens.  I like the Aldi mixed greens with baby kale and baby spinach.

I have used both vanilla and strawberry protein powder. I like them both.  I buy whatever is reasonably priced, with minimal carbs.  25 grams of protein,  and less than 150 calories per serving.  

1 scoop = 33 grams of protein powder

I add the protein powder on top of the greens so it does not get wet too soon and stick to the side of the blender cup.

I then cut up and fill the blender cup with cauliflower.  About two cups or so of chopped cauliflower

Once the blender cup is full, screw on the blender blade lid. Blend until super smooth.  

I then add the secret morning ingredient, coffee!

Since the smoothie is somewhat thick to start with, and I drink cold coffee anyway, I add black coffee to the veggie smoothie, which thins it out, ads a bit of flavor along with my morning caffeine. I love it.  I get 3 cups of vegetables, along with the kick from my coffee, and plenty of protein for my breakfast.  It takes me a couple of hours to drink while I am working, so it keeps me full all morning until time for lunch.

I have made this for my mother and my husband without the coffee and they both really like it, so it is kid and mother approved! Husband=kid!

Please let me know what you think of the Pamtastic smoothie…

Recipe: Zucchini Lasagna

I love lasagna but not all the carbs. I have taken the standby lasagna and  made a healthy low carb version, full of veggies. I use zucchini instead of pasta. I promise you will not miss the pasta!

I calculated the nutritional data with the ingredients and brands I used, please feel free to change anything, to make it your own.

I use about 1050 grams of zucchini, plus or minus and yes I do weigh it on my scale! I slice it long ways using a mandolin on 3/8 -1/2” thick setting. Zucchini that got lost in the garden, hidden behind leaves and ended up getting too big, are perfect for this recipe.

I use the Hunts Garlic & Herb pasta sauce, it is about $1 a can and low carb – two of my favorite things!  5 grams of net carbs per serving.

Brown the meat. I have made this with ground buffalo, or beef.  You can also use turkey.  Add onion and anything else you would like. I cook the meat, remove any water/fat, then add the pasta sauce and a package of fresh mushrooms when I have them.

Then I add just a bit of the sauce in a 9×13 glass baking dish. I am not sure this step is necessary, before layering the zucchini. The zucchini releases water as it cooks, so nothing ever sticks to the baking dish.

I then layer the zucchini in the baking dish, filling it pretty tight.

I did some intersting zucchini patch work here, but once it is put together you cannot tell.

The next layer is 2- 1/2 cups of cottage cheese, 1 egg, and a few spices.  I usually throw in basil and garlic, to taste.  If you prefer the ricotta cheese please use it. I love ricotta, but prefer a bit less calories and fat.

Mix this together and spread half of the mixture on top of the sliced zucchini.

Add half of the pasta sauce, meat mushroom goodness.

Then repeat the layers.  Start with the remaining sliced zucchini, then add the rest of the cottage cheese mixture.

Last half of the meat sauce.

Grate the mozzarella cheese, and add over the second layer of the meat sauce.

Bake at 350-375 degrees, my oven is a bit cranky, so I bake a bit hotter, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how golden you want it.

I slice this into 6 equal servings, which are quite large, but full of veggies. Let me know how you love it!

Recipe: Chicken and Cauliflower

Chicken and Rice made healthy = Chicken and Cauliflower – no one will miss the rice and your jeans will fit tomorrow!

Needing some easy, healthy, low carb comfort food?
I took this to my niece after she had her first baby, because bringing food to a new mom beats a new baby outfit hands down! She loved it and it is low carb and nutritious to help get her strength back without adding any bulk! I have served this to guests and everyone loves it!

Start with a big head of cauliflower, chop into pieces

use the food processor to “rice”.

8-10 cups after processed is a good round number.

Add the cauliflower to a 9×11 baking dish, then cut up chicken.
I use boneless skinless breast, feel free to use whatever chicken you prefer.

I cut the chicken into small bite size pieces, adding to the cauliflower rice.

Then add a can of cream of mushroom soup. There are multiple varieties, choose whichever you prefer, or use sour cream or greek yogurt to make your own sauce.

I spice with chicken bullion to make the cauliflower more chickeny, as well as adding my secret all spice – Tony Chache’s Original Creole seasoning.

Mix the soup, cauliflower rice, seasonings and chicken together, hopefully not throwing too much out of the baking dish!

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, sometimes longer to get the water that cooks out of the cauliflower to evaporate more. I do not cover this to cook, to ensure lots of water cooks out of the cauliflower. If you prefer, you can cook, drain and press the cauliflower ahead of time which would eliminate a lot of the water that cooks out. I have cooked and pressed the water out of the cauliflower ahead of time, laying the cauliflower out on a clean bath towel and pressing before using. This step does help with the extra liquid anytime you use the cauliflower rice. Please feel free to add fresh mushrooms or any other additions to make this fabulous dish, your own.

Recipe: Broccaslaw Spaghetti

Need a quick, nutritious, tasty dinner? Grab a bag of broccoli slaw,

a lean burger patty of your choice, along with some low carb spaghetti sauce and you have a quick and tasty dinner with plenty of veggies.
Having a patty instead of adding meat to the sauce, you can easily weigh and measure the meat to make sure you are getting the protein needed. My favorite sauce is the Hunts Garlic and Herb – it is cheap, $1 or so a can, as well as only 5g carbs for a ½ cup serving.

Poke a few holes in the bag of broccoli slaw and microwave for two and a half minutes. Ed and I split the bag of slaw, each have a burger, with the amount of sauce we each want. It is one of our favorite quick meals. Neither of us miss the pasta!