Monday, July 28, 2014

Progress Summary: Low Carb Round 2 - Week 2

Well, week 2 is over! As you can see, in week 1 of  "Low Carb Round 2" I lost five whole pounds. I really tried for a whole two days to continue tracking everything on here, but in pure Nicole fashion, that just did not work out. I have a few minor {and I mean minor} cheats throughout the week, and did not work out as much as I did during week #1. Last week I worked out {cardio & weight lifting each day} for five days. This week it was both for two days, cardio another day, and weight lifting another. I blame that totally on my gym partner leaving town! ;) It really does make a world of difference having someone meet you there & go through the motions with you. She also decided to "do low-carb" with me! What a pal!! 

So, since I didn't track everything like I did last week, let me just tell you what I've been eating and some of my to-go-to low-carb options for the week. 

Basically this week's dinner consisted of whatever concoction of hamburger meat we wanted to eat. It was either a burrito bowl or a low-carb pizza for lunch and/or dinner most nights. Salsarita's burrito bowls were definitely my inspiration and they are so easy and cheaper to make at home! 

I know that is definitely not Pinterest worthy, or appealing to the eye, but YUUUUUM!!!! It's lean hamburger meat with taco seasoning, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo. 

And here's a non-Pinterest-worthy pic of our low-carb pizzas....

We use large low-carb tortillas for the crust. Pizza sauce, Italian seasoning, lean hamburger meat (no taco seasoning this time), shredded cheese, onions, and red and green peppers for toppings! Cook for 6ish minutes at 350 degrees and voila!! You have a super yummy low-carb pizza option!! Alex asked for these two nights this week!! Warning when making these: We cut ours into four slices each, then you have to fold and hold each piece because the bottom's kind of flimsy. Either way, YUMMY! 

As always, my Premier Protein shakes came in handy when I was on my way to the gym and hadn't eaten since brunch. 
Premier Protein Shakes (2 net carbs)

EGGS!! Hard boiled, soft boiled, scrambled, you name it! At 0 carbs per egg, I definitely fill up on them about every morning!! 

And every morning I have to have a non-water drink! HAVE TO! My drugs of choice are...

Dr. Pepper really makes the only drink with "diet" in the name that I will drink!
DEFINITELY better than Diet Coke!! 

I have left these in my car since I always want a snack in the car... About 28 nuts is only 2 net carbs!! 

Nothing super special this week...just keepin' on keepin' on. 

I lost another 1.8 this week!! 

I know 1.8 isn't a lot, but five last week was, and was honestly surprising. I am okay with just going continuing to go down every week, even if it's in small increments. 

Today was my cheat day & by the end of the day I was ready to vomit. :( Eating low-carb has made me feel better for sure!! I also think I'm gaining energy while staying full, which is always a plus!! Maybe it's sleeping in a little, but I haven't wanted to nap at all this week, except today when I was in a carb coma. :/ 

So tomorrow starts week 3, kinda. Today should have started week 3, and I should have cheated yesterday, but that just means I waited even longer to really cheat. And it was really hard when my mother-in-law made this Oreo dessert for dinner on Sunday. She graciously gave me a piece to-go for my cheat day the next day though, don't you worry! ;) 

So "week 3" starts tomorrow. I guess my weeks will be 6 days long instead of seven and I plan to cheat a little one day per week, just to keep myself from feeling deprived. I definitely am going to try to avoid this carb-induced yuckiness feeling though...a feeling I think I am thankful for!! 

Have a great week!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Progress Summary: Low Carb Round 2 - Week 1

Okay, here's the deal. I thought I was going to totally going to track these carbs like a pro this week. I tried really hard and did alright. I am not eating a ton of times so it's kind of easy to remember what I had yesterday. The real kicker was recipes, which is totally normal, right? It wasn't until the week was over that I really counted the carbs in my three recipes I made, and, well, that was a no-no. Thank goodness my chocolate torte {pie} was only 3 carbs per piece, but my two others could get a little high in carbs if I didn't watch it. And I didn't watch it. Totally my fault. Lesson learned. Will do better next time!!

Now, here ya go! My week. My carb intake. As well as what I did for exercise. My goal was 15ish carbs per day. You can see that some days were spot on, some better than I expected, and some, well, went a little pretty overboard {by accident}.

Day 1: Total Net Carbs: 15 12
3 eggs (scrambled) - 3 carbs total* 0 carbs
1/4 cup of Kraft Three Cheese shredded cheese - 1 carb.
1 tbsp. of "Real Bacon Bits" - 0 carbs
1/2 a can of Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry - 0 carbs

**Depending on your resource, eggs vary in their number of carbs, anywhere from 0.4 to 1 each. I know that's not a HUGE difference, but it's the difference in 2 for 1! To be fair, I just said each egg was 1 carb and called it a day. 

Edit: I have no idea where I got 1 carb per egg for these eggs. The nutritional facts under the carton lid & My Fitness Pal both clearly say 0 carbs per egg. So... I guess I did better than I thought!! :)

Late Lunch/Pre-Workout Snack:
1 Chocolate Premier Protein Shake - 2 net carbs

30 minutes on the elliptical at levels 5 and 10
Biceps and Abs for another hour, rotating with my new gym buddy, Whitney :)

Small-sized Low Carb Wrap - 5 net carbs
with Ham, Mustard, & Mayo - 2 carbs
Salad: sliced almonds, bacon bits, shredded cheese, EVOO, & red wine vinegar - approx. 2 carbs?

Day 2: Total Net Carbs: 15 11
3 eggs (scrambled) - 3 carbs total* 0 carbs
1 Slice of American cheese {tasted better than the shredded cheese yesterday} - 2 carbs
1 tbsp. of "Real Bacon Bits" - 0 carbs
1/2 a can of Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry - 0 carbs

1 pack of Starkist single-serve Light tuna....add mayo - 0 carbs

Pre-Workout Snack:
1 Chocolate Premier Protein Shake - 2 net carbs

Texas Roadhouse's grilled chicken salad {chicken, cheese, eggs, & bacon**} - MAYBE 7 carbs {I would have said 4 before I added the ranch dressing but I do enjoy me some salad dressing!}

**I took off the tomatoes due to preference, and the onions and croutons to lessen the carbs. However, the amount of onions I would have had on there would have been "low carb," since 1 "medium slice" (1/8 inch thick) is 1.3 carbs and I don't douse my salad in onions. Nonetheless, the hubby was thankful! ;) 

Day 3: Total Net Carbs: 21 {higher than I'd wish}
1 Chocolate Premier Protein Shake - 2 net carbs

Salad: Lettuce, cheese, ham, turkey, chicken, tomatoes & ranch dressing. - Maybe 4 carbs?
Coke Zero- 0 carbs
1 single "Everything" flavored Pretzel Chip - 2 carbs... had to try just one, and I promised I would count it in my total....not worth it.

30 mins on the elliptical, at levels 5 and 1
30 mins on the treadmill at level 10 incline

Creamy Salsa Chicken Breast - 4 carbs guesstimate
Salad: cheese, bacon bits, almond slices, & leftover "cream" from the chicken recipe as my dressing - 6 carbs guesstimate
1 slice of my new Low Carb Sugar-Free Chocolate Truffle Torte - 3 carbs

Day 4: Total Net Carbs: 28 25 {Oops!!}
3 fried eggs with bacon - 3 carbs 0 carbs
Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry - 0 carbs

I think I was full from my late breakfast, or forgot to eat lunch or something...

1 slice of my new Low Carb Sugar-Free Chocolate Truffle Torte - 3 carbs

30 mins of elliptical, primarily on level 1... I was beat! 
30 mins of biceps


Shredded Buffalo Chicken w/ Mexican Cheese & sour cream - 14 carbs guesstimate {total low-carb mistake}
Brocolli & Cheese - approx. 5 net carbs
1 slice of my new Low Carb Sugar-Free Chocolate Truffle Torte - 3 carbs

Day 5: Total Net Carbs: 21 {dang it!}
6 sausage with maple syrup links with mustard- 4 carbs
Coke Zero - 0 carbs

1 slice of my new Low Carb Sugar-Free Chocolate Truffle Torte - 3 carbs

Exercise: 30 mins of cardio, then weight lifting {abs & legs}

Dinner: some more of that buffalo chicken from Thursday night... - Guessing another 14 carbs :(

Day 6: Total Net Carbs: 39 {toooo many!}
Leftover buffalo chicken {don't judge was brunch!} - Guessing another 14 carbs :(

A burrito bowl from Salsarita's {beef, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream} - approx. 5 carbs?


Dinner: Outback Steakhouse: 
A side salad with honey mustard dressing {no croutons} - probably 15 carbs? Honey Mustard dressing will get ya!!
9 oz. sirloin - 0 carbs
& the best broccoli & cheese I've EVER had. So sad that they quit selling green beans.. :'( Those were my favorite!! - 5 carbs?

Day 7: Total Net Carbs: 7
Breakfast: 1 Chocolate Premier Protein Shake - 2 net carbs
Lunch: Salmon & mayo mix {not my best idea} - 1 carb
Snack: Smokehouse flavored almonds - 2 net carbs
Exercise: NONE
Dinner: 2 bacon & cheddar-filled burgers {YUM!!} - 2 carbs

It will be a miracle if I can keep this up, the logging. I am not handing out false promises today, so, I will just try to do a summary of what I ate...and you trust that it's low carb. How's that sound? I'll try to guestimate the number of net carbs I eat in a day. Sometimes it's hard with recipes you're making with ingredients and serving sizes and blah blah. But I WILL TRY. But if I don't, don't judge me. But as you can see, I did not starve. And I'll be honest, I didn't really miss carbs that much. Until I passed Cold Stone Creamery, and a pizza restaurant. That is mostly thanks to my new love, Coke Zero. It makes me temporarily forget Mello Yello exists.

But, nonetheless, my low-carb diet was well worth week #1. I will definitely be keeping up the good work. Why, you ask? Because the scale was at onenumber on Monday when I was chatting with Whitney at the gym, and on the morning of day #8, the number of the scale was onenumber minus FIVE POUNDS!! Not even joking. I think it was a low-carb miracle.

So, wish me luck in week #2. At the end of week #2 I am having me a cheat day of all cheat days. Not that I think of it often or anything... :)

Have a great week!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Recipe: Low-Carb Sugar-Free Chocolate Truffle Torte!

I posted a Facebook status and later an Instagram picture of my new favorite "low-carb chocolate pie" and afterwards had several people asking for the recipe. The recipe was found on LowCarb4Life. It's amateur videos of a normal person making yummy low-carb food in their home! So relatable! I haven't watched all her videos yet, but plan to watch more soon. She stopped making videos in 2008. I really wonder where she is now. The video is at the bottom of this blog post if you're interested in watching! This is my to-go-to this week as I begin my low-carb journey again. It's sugar-free, low-carb, and will most definitely give you your chocolate fix with just one piece. LowCarb4Life doesn't listen a ton of nutritional value in her videos, just uses low-carb ingredients, so I did the homework myself. Each piece of this yummy goodness is only 3 carbs! Try it for yourself!

6 oz. sugar-free chocolate chips {WalMart sells Hershey's brand...Harris Teeter doesn't have them}
1/2 cup butter
1 cup Splenda {I used the Walmart's Great Value brand....same ingredients, way cheaper}
3 eggs
1 tbsp. of cocoa powder {I used Hershey's brand}
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla {I think vanilla extract, but I didn't have any, so I used Torani sugar-free vanilla syrup}

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Put chocolate chips & butter in a bowl & melt in microwave, stirring every 45 seconds.
Whisk in the cream, vanilla, cocoa, Splenda, and eggs. {Make sure it's stirred up good!}
Grease "torte/truffle" pan. {I used a pie pan}
Pour mixture into pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. {It'll be jiggly on the inside when you take it out of the oven.}
Let chill in fridge for at least 30 mins.

Here is the video if you are interested in watching:

Entire recipe is sugar-free and each piece only has 3 carbs! ENJOY guilt-free!! :)


Monday, July 14, 2014

Here I go again...

personal thinspiration from our honeymoon
(April 2013) 
Last year, for a solid 5+ months, I "did low carb." Of course, getting married will kick any undisciplined person into high gear & the result of my dedication and sacrifice was a much needed 25 lb. weight loss. After the wedding & honeymoon, Alex and I kind of climbed off the carb crazy train, just tried to "eat better" and continued to exercise-- a.k.a. we introduced carbs back into our life. Please hear me when I say that introducing carbs back into our diet did NOT backfire. I often hear people say, "You can't go on a low carb diet successfully because when you stop you will gain all the weight back," and then some people finish that sentence with a, "Plus more." Yes, I kept exercising. No, I didn't gorge myself in sweets. I maintained a 20 lb. weight loss. But it wasn't until I went back to work, which was extremely stressful, and ate like straight up crap for weeks and did not exercise one time that I gained not only a few lbs. back, but every single pound that I had lost.


It's high time I get back some discipline. I did it before and I can do it again. I know the efforts will be worth it, I just need to get to work. And by get to work, I mean plan, and track, and avoid, and tell myself no. And pray for God to help me find the strength to not have Mello Yello or sugar. Sounds like a drag but I know I can still have foods I love, and I know I will see some results. I won't have to worry about calorie-counting, or SUPER restricting myself. So.... I am thinking positive thoughts! :)

In the mean time, I will be looking for new low-carb recipes. If you have any suggestions, or websites that give some *easy* (y'all know I'm no pro in the kitchen) options, please send them to me! And wish me luck!!

PS: I realize I said I was starting "Round 2" last August, but that's when I started my new position at work and started hating life SO- like I said... It's high time I get back some discipline. For real this time. I had an xL Mello Yello last night, and I am READY. Get ready for some #lowcarb all over the place.

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