8/20 Weightloss Wednesday: I’m 20 Lbs Down!

Weightloss Wednesday

It’s been a while since I’ve made one of these Weightloss Wednesday Videos because I haven’t really been losing any weight.  I finally came to grips with the fact that my snacking and dessert-eating was sabotaging my weight-loss efforts and once I stopped snacking, the weight started coming back off.

I can’t even tell you how exciting it is to see this progress and to FINALLY be under 290 lbs.  I special shout out to my lovely wife and Vinnie Tortorich for putting their finger on what my problem was and helping me break through.

Easy Sugar Free Sauteed Cabbage Recipe!

Sugar Free Sauteed Cabbage

As part of our commitment to eating healthy, Dian and I joined a produce co-op.  This has opened me up to several veggies that are outside of my “normal vegetable rotation”.  For instance, the only time I have ever bought cabbage in my life was when Dian wanted Cole Slaw for her hot dogs.  As a true Texan, I know that Cole Slaw on hot dogs is a Yankee abomination and only gets in the way of the chili and cheese. Smile

So now I had a head of cabbage that I really didn’t know what to do with.  (I know, I’m stumped by the stupidest things.  I also got a package of figs that will probably rot before I get to them.)  After a little experimentation, I found a way to use my cabbage that was absolutely delicious and complemented the grilled chicken I paired it with.

This recipe is made for 2 people people but it is very easy to double or quadruple for more people.  I hope you enjoy it!

Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A quick and easy sauteed cabbage recipe
Ingredients
  • ¼ head of cabbage sliced (any color)
  • ½ an onion, sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Remove core and outer leaves from cabbage
  2. Place all ingredients in frying pan
  3. Cook over medium-high heat until cabbage is soft (about 15-20 minutes)

 

4 Easy Questions You Can Ask to Tell If You Are Addicted to Sugar

4 Ways To Tell If You're Addicted To Sugar

If you had asked me if I was addicted to sugar before I started my sugar free journey, I would have laughed at the idea.  Addiction was for the weak and sugar wasn’t addictive, or so I thought.

Little did I realize that under an MRI machine, eating a sugary treat causes the brain to light up like a Christmas tree in exactly the same way it lights up when you give a cocaine addict a bump of coke.  In fact it really wasn’t until I decided to cut sugar out that I realized how deep my addiction went.  For the first few days, it was literally all I thought about.  I kept coming up with rationalizations and round-about ways I could get a little “hit” of sugar.  It was eye-opening to say the least.  Even now, 4 months into a no sugar lifestyle, I still have the occasional urge to grab a quick dessert.

Here are 4 Questions You Can Ask to See if You Are Addicted to Sugar

Just like with any addiction, the first step to conquering it is admitting you have a problem but how are you supposed to know if you are addicted?  Fortunately there are a few questions you can ask yourself to see if you have a problem.

1.  Do you struggle to pass by a sugary food without grabbing one?

This was definitely me.  It was as if saying “just one” to myself was some kind of magic spell that would make what I was eating not be fattening.  And it was never “just one”.

2.  Have you built routines around your sugar consumption?

I remember when my youngest son was growing up, he got it in his head that you were supposed to eat dessert after every meal.  (Can’t imagine where he picked that up.)  It wasn’t until we let him spend the night at his grandmother’s and she called us the next day to tell us that he asked for dessert after a breakfast of pancakes and syrup(!) that we realized we weren’t doing a good job of modeling good eating habits to him.  Do you have to have dessert every night?  Do you eat a candy bar in the middle of every day?  Do you have to have a sugary drink or snack after a workout?

3.  Are there times when you feel like you can’t go on without a sugar hit?

For me it was that 3PM lull between lunch and dinner.  I was pretty much powerless against the siren call of a Reese’s peanut butter cup.  (Plus, peanut butter is full of protein so it was practically healthfood, right?)

4.  If you are forced to go without sugar for a day, do you develop headaches or mood swings?

I would have had no way to answer this because I can assure you that I NEVER went a full day without sugar!  Now I know that mood swings and intense cravings happen when I cut sugar out but I sure am glad I did it.

Here’s the horrible truth, if you answered yes to ANY of these questions, you are probably addicted to sugar.  It’s time to get that sugar out of your life!  If you need more convincing, here are a few ways fructose (sugar) is making you fat and sick and here is my story about how I broke free of my sugar addiction.

Thanks to David Gillespie for this list

Awesome Slow Cooker Sugar Free Chicken Stock Recipe!

Chicken Stock Recipe

So I posted my Slow Cooker Whole Chicken recipe a while ago, promised to post about the stock I make from it and then promptly forgot.  That’s pretty much the story of my life.  So without further ado, let’s take a look at how to make chicken stock with no sugar.

If you haven’t noticed, chicken stock is one of those things that are difficult to find sugar-free off the shelf.  In fact, it my 2nd trip to Whole Foods looking that convinced me that I needed to figure out my own recipe.  This is super-tasty and easy get ready but there are a few things you need to know before you make it.

First of all, you will need to cook an entire chicken in your Crock-Pot like this.  Second, after you pick all the meat off the bone, you will need to put the carcass back in the crock-pot.  Third, once you follow the recipe below you will need to strain out anything solid to leave just the stock.  Fourth, the stock can be frozen for dang near forever, I put some in ZIploc bags and some in an Ice Tray so I get small amounts easily.  Fifth, once you strain out the stock you can pick the bones out and stir the soft bits in with your dog’s food.  Seriously, you will make your dog’s whole year.

Recipe type: Soup Stock
Cuisine: All
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
 
Make your own chicken stock in a slow cooker with no added sugar!
Ingredients
  • Leftover chicken carcass
  • 1 Diced Onion
  • 2 Stalks chopped Celery
  • 1 Carrot chopped
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 sprig of Parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp basil
Instructions
  1. Cook entire chicken in slow cooker. Remove all meat and place carcass back in slow cooker along with all juices and anything leftover from chicken
  2. Place all ingredients in slow cooker and fill with water, leaving about an inch of space from the top
  3. Cook overnight on low
  4. Strain out all solid particles and bones
  5. Store juice in Ziploc bags or ice trays and freeze

 

5 Tips for Eating Sugar Free in Restaurants!

5 Tips For Eating Sugar Free When Dining Out

5 Tips for Eating Sugar Free in Restaurants!

One of the trickier things about eating Sugar-Free is eating out.  We don’t do it a ton but when we do, it took us a little time to see all the pitfalls and avoid them.  I’ve been putting together lists of What is Sugar Free in Restaurants but even that is difficult because no one feels it’s necessary to publish the ingredients of their food and since there is no such thing as a “Sugar Allergy” it’s not on any allergen list.

But over time we finally were able to pick our way through the sugary minefield that is eating out and developed a few tricks that served us well.  I hop you find them as useful as we did.

Plan Ahead

If I know where we will be eating, I try to call the day before and explain that I don’t eat sugar and get some advice about what to eat.  What I found is many times I got something like “Oh, there was someone in a week ago that couldn’t eat sugar and we decided that she could eat x”.  If that happens, life is super easy but if not, no big deal.  It usually just takes a few minutes to go through the menu and pick out the most likely no sugar added dishes.

Learn to ask about seasonings, sauces and dressings

Unfortunately, it’s these 3 items that most dishes will fail the no sugar test.  One of our favorite hamburger places has sugar in the seasoning for the fries, the little Italian bistro we like to go to has sugar in dang near every type of pasta sauce and salad dressing is just about impossible to find.

All you can do is ask about each of these items and cut them if they have sugar.  Fortunately, 2 of these 3 items have easy work-a-rounds.  For the seasoning, just season your own food.  Salt and Pepper are fantastic all by themselves.  For the dressing, either bring your own from home (I know, we’ve become those people with little tupperware bottles of dressing in my wife’s purse.)  Another option is oil and vinegar (but beware Balsamic vinegar, it’s got quite a bit of fructose in it.) or, in a pinch, just olive oil and a squeeze of lemon with a little salt and pepper.  As for the sauces, it’s going to be tough.  It’s sometimes easier to find white sauces without sugar as opposed to red but it’s a tricky find.

Cut the bread

If it’s leavened bread, it almost certainly used sugar in the recipe.  Some flat breads (like tortillas) don’t use sugar but you can’t know for sure unless you ask.  I’ve also found that if they bring out chips and salsa, you are usually ok.  It’s been very rare that I’ve seen tortilla chips with sugar and if you are in a decent Mexican restaurant, there is probably no sugar in the salsa.

Avoid battered food

This one is a little tricky.  Usually, if the restaurant batters their own food in house, you are fine but if it’s pre-battered and frozen, you should avoid it.

Remember all you CAN eat!

This is probably the most important tip.  It’s easy to get so focused on what is gone from your diet that you lose sight of what is still there.  There is still a BUNCH of things you can eat and not feel deprived.  Most importantly, you will be cutting out one of the most harmful ingredients from our modern meals and will be reaping the benefits of getting that poison out of your system.

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