Sunday, June 29

The Return of Real Food (+ Almond Muffins)

I realized with a big shock today that every single food that I will be eating in the coming week was something I would not have eaten a few years ago.

Every. Single. Item.

Because they're weird? Because they're lowcarb?

No. Because they're REAL!


I was going through a "loosely" planned menu, so I'd know what to defrost, and basing it on what food I have since I can't shop till near next weekend. I eat a lot of the same things each day (eg usually a blueberry and plain yogurt smoothie for breakfast, and eggs, sometimes with sausage if I have it, as a second late-morning meal...) so it wasn't rocket science.

I'm gradually getting my kitchen organized so really, I pretty much always have the same foods available. I can glance at the pantry and see right off what I have few or none of. I can plan a menu without worrying about what I have (normally) because I always have about the same stuff. I can estimate costs because I buy the same stuff all the time.

Most people eat the same things pretty repetitively. I find that I do this naturally. Having menus actually helps me plan some variety, which I consider healthy, and use a little of everything. My produce varies because that has such a short shelf life. Most everything else lasts longer, or if it can be stored or frozen, a very long time.

I think food can be broken down into the following major categories (I'm probably missing something!). This is a list of what I eat/want to eat, and expect to have on hand whenever I can.

Animal Proteins
> eggs-chicken, eggs-duck, chicken-whole, chicken-breasts, chicken-thighs; turkey-whole, turkey-breast, turkey-ground; beef-roast, beef-steaks, beef-ground; pork-loin, pork-tenderloin, pork-cutlets; sausage-italian hot, sausage-breakfast hot, sausage-gourmet jalapeno-jack; bacon-ordinary

> asparagus, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet peppers, hot peppers, zucchini

> carrots

> small organic gala apples, avocados, strawberries, frozen wild blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, tomato

Alliums and Other
> garlic, onions, scallions, mushrooms

> pecans

> almonds, flax, coconut

> cream, cream cheese, sour cream, colby-jack, mozzarella, parmesan, blue

> black beans, small red beans

> sweet potato

Processed foods

> coffee, cocoa
> seasonings (from extracts to mixed spices to GF soy sauce, condiments)
> sauces (4-cheese alfredo sauce, enchilada sauce, etc.)
> drinks (diet A&W root beer)
> artificial sweeteners (generally sucralose)


Back in the days when I worked ALL the time, and honestly thought Subway sandwiches were healthy (healthy enough to combat the bread, Dr. Pepper and Doritos and cookies??), I never ate real food. If I had anything at all at home, it was generally tortillas and bread and bagels and pasta.

My food life has changed so much it's hard to measure.

Last night I made almond muffins. I've seen recipes for this kind of thing in various places but I got this one from my LC buddy Karen.

Almond Muffins
2 cups almond meal
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
4 oz (1/2 cup or 1 cube) butter (you can use coconut oil)
1/3 cup sweetener (davinci works well)
pinch salt
Mix the dry stuff, stir in wet stuff, stir very well, bake in 12 muffin tins @ 350 about 15 minutes.
Nutrition counts are here.
You can add extracts, berries, etc. to this for a stronger flavor.

Despite some artificial sweetener, even this yummy "baked good" (and the texture is closer to breadish than most LC stuff) is healthier than the stuff I used to eat and seriously considered healthy.

When I list my foods like above, where the stuff I want least is near the bottom -- I'm working on getting more at the top and less at the bottom -- it really brings home how NOT REAL my eating was prior to lowcarb. There was a day I could not have even imagined eating so much 'real food' -- let alone actually cooking it myself, heh!

I feel so fortunate that I've come to this eating plan. My life is so much better in so many ways. It's almost like finding religion. But I guess the body is so profoundly affected by nutrition that makes sense.

Food is the religious doctrine of the body. You can make it bad or good, but you live with what you focus on.



nonegiven said...

I've been making muffins with a similar recipe. Sift the almond flour, they are lighter in texture that way. Non low carbers would never guess they contain no wheat flour.

Lorna said...

For the Almond Muffins, what kind of sweetner can we use? Davinci syrups? Granulated Splenda? What did you mean by davinci?


PJ said...

Any sweetener. By DaVinci I meant the DaVinci sugar free flavoring syrups that use sucralose (visit to see a list of their flavors... it's amazing). I use sweetzfree for most everything (, it is diluted liquid sucralose. Seems expensive but 1 drop = 1 tsp sugar so you don't use much. I sometimes use fiberfit (a liquid fiber supplement that uses sucralose: 1tsp=8tsp sweetener). I have a variety of other sweeteners I sometimes use in stuff (erythritol, sweet-something, diabetisweet, stevia, splenda, sugar-twin, etc.). But you can use anything you want.

Almond muffins would probably be fine if you used DaVinci; if you're going to use a ton of it you might want to just slightly increase the amount of almond meal.

In recipes with coconut meal it is hard to overdo liquids because that meal is so thirsty.

Happy baking! PJ