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Anne's Kitchen: Considering diets

 

 

Anne Freeze

 

 

When I was in college Atkins was the new diet plan. There we were at the University of Georgia, eating steak with butter and drinking scotch because it didn't have carbs. Truth be told, it wasn't that much scotch, and we couldn't afford steak, but we did eat a lot of hard-boiled eggs. Atkins is still around but is referred to as low-carb nowadays.  

 

When I married Terry I was not a young blushing bride and had been living and eating independently for decades. I wanted to impress him, so I got up every morning and baked biscuits and cooked eggs. When he came home there was a hot meal ready (think pork chops and gravy). I had no idea what to do, and I had lots of time on my hands in the new town where I knew not a soul. Thank goodness for St. Paul's Episcopal Church and The Fitness Factor! Thirty-plus pounds later and with a few friends and a better social life, I joined Weight Watchers. I stayed on it strictly and lost 30 pounds.  

 

Fast forward 11 years later and, yep, you guessed it, some of that has come back. This time it's mostly due to my slacking off, spending a lot of time traveling (think fast food), ditching exercise (I'm too busy) and not planning meals. I jumped back to the gym a month or so ago and embarked on better eating.  

 

The daughter of a friend of mine told me that she had lost 21 pounds by going on the Keto Diet. To me, it sounds like a more scientific version of Atkins. She was adhering to no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates a day (which, believe me, is like a grain of rice) and trying to get her body keto-adapted where it would burn fat instead of carbs. I came home and made ready for steak and butter and whiskey with a side of pork rinds. By week two I was sick of it and decided a 30-year-old is much better able to manage it than me.  

 

So what's left to do? I looked at Whole30 which is the deprivation of anything you have ever liked for 30 days and the punishment that if you ever eat even a pinch of fake sugar, you have to start all over. I shed a tear just thinking about it. Then there is Paleo. Sounds manly, doesn't it? It lets you eat lean meat and fats, but cuts out grains, legumes and dairy. I'll leave it to the more athletic types.  

 

Another popular diet is eating "clean." This is the one that is much more of a change in lifestyle forever. You cut white sugar, over-processed grains (white flour), junk, too much fat, too much dairy, etc. It helps you focus on whole grains, vegetables, lean protein and fruit. If you follow it mindfully, you choose to eat foods closer to their source (locally), eat organic, and research what is in your food to keep out what isn't there in nature. I like this way of thinking, although I doubt if we'll ever be invited to the Clean Eating Convention. Speaking of conventions, clean eating is hard to do when you are presented with a breakfast plate of biscuit with sausage gravy, two sausage links, two pieces of bacon, potatoes and a scoop of breakfast casserole (with sausage in it, of course), along with a side of orange juice (sugar). That is what was put before me this past Saturday. Good gussy! I just picked the best I could to stave off starvation. 

 

Do you like Dave's Bread? It's chock-full of good stuff, but I always thought it was a little too big and thick for me. A friend recently told me that they now have a thin-slice version which I found at a grocery store out of town. Mention it to our local options and let's see if we can get it in town. I like it because it tastes good, is loaded with protein and fiber, and the seeds keep me chewing. The thin slices are perfect for a lunch sandwich -- tuna, no mayo, raw spinach, of course. Below are a three recipes to try. I have not made cloud bread, but have heard about it many times. 

 

 

 

CLOUD BREAD 

 

Makes 9  

 

 

 

3 large eggs, separated 

 

3 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature 

 

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 

 

1 teaspoon sweetener 

 

 

 

  • Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

     

  • Mix together egg yolks, cream cheese and sweetener in a small bowl until very smooth. Set aside. 

     

  • Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks are formed, about 5-6 minutes. 

     

  • Gently fold in cream cheese mixture. Try not to deflate the egg whites. 

     

  • Scoop batter onto prepared baking sheet, into even rounds, about the size of a hamburger bun.  

     

  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer bread to wire rack and let cool. 

     

    (Source: cinnamonandtoast.com) 

     

     

     

    REAL FOOD SHAMROCK SHAKE 

     

    Yields 1 shake 

     

     

     

    2 cups milk of choice 

     

    4 cups ice cubes 

     

    1 teaspoon natural mint extract 

     

    2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

     

    1/2 avocado 

     

    1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey 

     

    1 cup packed spinach leaves 

     

     

     

  • In a blender combine milk, mint extract, avocado, vanilla, spinach and syrup. Blend until very smooth. 

     

  • Add ice cubes and blend just until it forms a shake consistency. 

     

    (Note: My friend Donna drinks this every day; the recipe is from her very "clean" daughter.) 

     

     

     

    RANCH PORK RIND PORK CHOPS 

     

     

     

    7-8 thin sliced boneless pork chops 

     

    1 bag of original flavor pork rinds 

     

    1 package of dry ranch seasoning 

     

    1 egg 

     

    Salt and pepper 

     

     

     

  • Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. 

     

  • Pour pork rinds into a large bowl. 

     

  • Use a cup to crush into teeny-tiny bits. 

     

  • Mix in dry ranch seasoning to crushed pork rinds. 

     

  • Whisk eggs to make an egg wash. 

     

  • Dip each pork chop into the egg wash. Then coat each side of chop with crushed pork rinds. Place breaded pork chop onto sprayed baking sheet.  

     

  • Bake at 425 F. for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and flip each pork chop over to brown on other side. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. 

     

    (Note: This recipe is from my friend Amy who has lost 27 pounds since February on the Keto Diet.)

     

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