Last July, I began my low carb journey. After ignoring my pre-diabetes for two years, I finally buckled down and set out to cut out sugar from my life and lose a lot of weight. I got creative in the kitchen and tried lots of new recipes; some were awesome, others… not so much. Ten months later, I’ve lost 17 pounds and kept them off.
I find that I’m able to do a lot with the following 9 foods. I try to always have them in the house so I can make flavorful meals that are tasty without compromising my dietary needs.
Bananas. This fruit is super versatile. My favorite thing to do is coerce ST to mix one banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and an egg to make moist and delicious low carb pancakes. I also cut them up and add them to yogurt and cereal for extra sweetness.
Eggs. I LOVE eggs; baked, scrambled, sunny side up over a grilled pork chop – the possibilities are endless. Eggs are also a vital ingredient for flavorful dishes such as meatballs, meatloaf, and brunch.
Almonds. When I come home from work, I’m usually hankering for a snack. Instead of grabbing ST’s provolone Cheez-Its, a handful of roasted, salted almonds take the edge off my hunger until dinner is on the table. Arrange them on a plate with Gorgonzola cheese and grapes and you have a deliciously fancy low carb cheese platter.
Peanut butter. Spread it over a banana, mix it with banana and freeze it to make ice cream, combine it with an egg and banana to make pancakes… the possibilities are endless. This sweet and nutty spread really hits the spot for me.
Parmesan cheese. I combine this with spices to coat chicken thighs in lieu of breadcrumbs. The chicken comes out of the oven crispy and KFC-like. I use it whenever a recipe calls for breadcrumbs.
Spices. Garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, thyme, rosemary, mustard seed, ground cumin, sea salt, and pepper are a must.
Fresh basil. Two words: fresh pesto. Chop up some almonds in the food processor; add the basil, olive oil, two cloves of garlic, and season with salt and pepper. You’ve got yourself a delicious sauce for virtually any type of protein that floats your boat. I usually make a side of carbs for ST (rice or pasta) and drizzle some pesto over it.
Frozen chopped spinach. I try to include as much vegetables in our meals as possible but sometimes, I don’t have time or energy to go out and buy fresh produce. Whenever I find myself in either scenario, I thaw frozen spinach and use it to stuff meatballs and meat loaf, both of which are ST’s favorites. You can also toss it with grilled chicken, pasta, and a bit of olive oil for another easy weeknight dinner.
Greek yogurt. Freeze it to make frozen yogurt or just eat it normally for a light and sweet snack. I find that it helps curb any PMS-driven desires for sweets and carbs.
It’s kind of crazy just one year ago, I was miserably uncomfortable with my body and couldn’t believe I could change my situation. I hope this helps anyone on their own journey to good health.
Here’s a bit of trivia about me – I am prediabetic.
This is a serious condition characterized by higher-than-normal blood sugar levels that is not yet classified officially as diabetes. Prediabetes almost always precedes type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of diabetes. Prediabetes is caused by insulin resistance.
I was diagnosed two years ago, just a few weeks before my wedding (I guess right around now. Happy prediabetes diagnosis anniversary to me.) I was prescribed Metformin and warned that it might cause weight gain. Um, weight gain before my wedding? When I’ve been training twice per week with a trainer AND working out every other day on my own AND dieting? Suffice to say I didn’t take the diagnosis seriously and put off taking the medicine until after our honeymoon. Side note: In my defense, Kim – a registered nurse – said it was okay! Yes, I just vilified my sister to absolve myself of personal responsibility. And what?
I think I was a bit incredulous that my diagnosis was real. At the time, I a fit twenty-six-year-old who was no stranger to the gym and an active lifestyle. I did eat like a pig, but definitely not more than any friends or family. My grandmother has diabetes, but that’s about it. I wasn’t even close to overweight. I believe I weighed the same as I do now – 116-118 lbs. I have proof! Here I am circa 2010 in a random restaurant in downtown Puerto Vallarta on our honeymoon.
What are the chances?
As it turns out, quite a high chance, actually. According to a press release from the NYC Department of Health, the highest percentage of prediabetes in 2004 was within the Asian population. Must be all that rice and fruit.
After our honeymoon, I was mostly compliant with my doctor’s orders and tried to take my medication everyday. More often than not, though, I’d forget and skip a few days. I still ate copious amounts of mochi ice cream, watermelon paletas, and carbs, carbs, carbs. Not only did I gain weight, I probably also shaved a few years from my life.
All this to explain that my recent weight loss resolve isn’t just about achieving the perfect bikini body. It’s mostly about achieving the perfect bikini body, but also about finally committing to managing my prediabetes with an consistently active lifestyle and no/low-sugar diet.
There’s no turning back. This past month has shown me that I can do this. I hope by taking my blog in this new direction, I can encourage people in similar situations.
If you’re in a similar situation, I’d love to hear about how you manage your prediabetes, since I don’t know anyone else diagnosed with this condition.
Side note: The doctor who prescribed me Metformin was misinformed. This medication actually supports weight loss, not weight gain. A friend of mine who is a doctor confirmed this. Metformin has also been criticized as a way of enabling a destructive lifestyle because it helps you lose weight. I, however, have experienced none of the aforementioned weight loss while taking Metformin.
No, not an animorph…
I’m a mesomorph. Apparently, it’s a body type.
The mesomorph body type is naturally athletic and both gains and loses weight relatively easily. I took this quiz and it told me all that. The test is obviously imprecise, unscientific, and mostly meant to be a guideline in weight loss. In truth, I think I’m somewhere between a mesomorph and an endomorph.
I had a doctor’s appointment the other day and I found out I lost 8 pounds. Huzzah! Clothes that were previously tight are now very comfortable or even loose now. However, like most women, I still have “problem areas” that refuse to budge. For me, these areas are my arms and tummy. So while other parts of my body have become leaner and toned, there are still some parts that remain stubbornly squishy.
Well, after reading up on mesomorphs, I found out that its hard for me to get skinny due to a large amount of dense muscle. Interesting. I have actually always wondered about that. In order to lose weight, mesomorphs are advised to:
It’s funny how I figured all this stuff out on my own. Validation is always a good thing, I guess.
Anyway, since I have a low tolerance for the repetition of no- and low-carb recipes, I am constantly searching for new ideas. Flax meal bread, no crust pizza, miracle noodles, and ricotta pie got old quick.
If you’re like me, I’d recommend stocking the following items at all times since they are the building blocks of interesting no- and low-carb meals:
Currently, my favorite meals are:
At week four of the diet, I have lots of energy and have been pretty active. ST and I have been going to the gym at least twice per week and I’ve been going on long walks with both ST and Helene. I could maximize my weight loss by cutting out all carbs (fruits and cereal) and increasing my gym time to 4-5 times per week. I don’t think that would be manageable for me though. I have a fierce sweet tooth that is nigh on impossible to ignore. I need fruits and cereal, as they are my only form of sweets. As for increasing gym time, I’m working on it. Aren’t we all?
How’s your summer going?