Gifts for the low-carb love in your life

I love this time of year! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are my favorite! The food (oh so much of it), the parties, the decorations, the music, family, friends, all of it. Shopping has evolved for me a little over the years. I now much prefer to shop online and I’m more careful about what I spend our money on. I’d rather buy someone something they really want than 5 things that they maybe want. So, I’m going to do a 2 part series on a few Christmas ideas that I would love and maybe someone you know would love as well.

This post contains affiliate links. 

First up, are the low carb / keto people. Do you or someone you know eat low carb? I’ve made a list of a few things my husband and I use and have tried, they would make great gifts for someone watching their carbs and sugar.

I LOVE Mexican food. Specifically, tortillas. Imagine my dismay when I realized tortillas aren’t exactly keto friendly. I was beyond ecstatic to come across these wraps that are only 9 net carbs for a 12 inch wrap. We have used them for quesadillas (both for dinner and breakfast), chicken salad wraps and I really love them fried as chips. I just cut them into strips or triangles if you are fancy and very quickly fry them in coconut oil. I’ve also seen some people bake them. There are tons of ways to use these wraps from Cut da Carb. There’s usually a buy 1 get 1 free coupon on Instagram too!

Here’s a photo of fajitas and the chips. So good!

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Next would have to be Good Dee’s Baking mixes. SO GOOD. I think I tried her Blondie’s first, I’m not even sure what my favorite is anymore. I currently have Blondie’s, yellow cake mix and pancake mix at home. The Yellow cake mix is amazing with lemon extract, and I added a powdered sugar glaze made with Swerve. The pancakes were a game changer for us. I really, really miss pancakes. These are a good substitute though. The muffins are unflavored, you can customize with your own ingredients and extracts or eat them plain with butter!

I have a 15% off code for any of Good Dee’s mixes, use HMWR15.

Here’s the Yellow Cake Mix with the Swerve Confectioner’s drizzle.

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And my half eaten pancakes!

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Next on my list is a book called Keto Clarity, by Jimmy Moore. I read this book while on our cruise this summer. I learned a lot! And there’s so much research being done on how the keto diet can help. I found it very interesting and helpful. Not just for newbies either!

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Next favorite is MCT oil and MCT Powder. John prefers the oil for his coffee, but since I don’t drink coffee I prefer the powder. The kind we buy is unflavored from Perfect Keto. I actually mix it with my Crystal Light. I’m actually on auto-ship every 30 days for the MCT oil powder.

The MCT oil is Bulletproof. John did some research and found this company on Amazon. They do not use palm oil. Some companies that use palm oil are cutting down rain forests which in turn destroys orangutan habitat. The bottle says “100% orangutan friendly oil”.

MCT oil has many benefits, including healthy fats (Medium chain triglycerides), and eating healthy fat can help you lose fat (hence the Keto diet). Also claims to aid in digestion, helps clear your mind, keep you focused, improve mood as well as a few other benefits.

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The next one is Swerve Sweetener. I tried a few others to bake with and nothing has tasted as good as Swerve. I’ve seen several bakers that mix their own, I have not tried that yet. There is a “cooling” effect with Swerve, it’s less than others I’ve tried. Stevia is awful to bake with, in my opinion. They have a granulated version and confectioners version. I have made cream cheese frosting and a drizzle with the confectioners. See below muffin with frosting. So good! They sell them each individually or as a 2 pack.

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That’s my list of favorites! These would make great gifts for yourself or someone else. We have really adapted to this life and normally I don’t even think twice about skipping the sugar or carb-laden foods. These items can make that easier and hopefully you don’t feel deprived.

Contact me if you have any questions about any of the products here. Keep in mind there are affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing you help keep this little blog up and running. Thanks for stopping by!

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Low-carb Enchilada Casserole

We have adjusted very well to our low-carb lifestyle. I do get asked if I miss carbs. It’s a loaded question. If I place emotion on food, then yes I’d say I miss it. But, I don’t miss how I felt. I don’t miss being overweight despite working out 6 days a week. I don’t miss feeling like crap, that’s pretty much what it comes down to. Plus, I’ve adjusted a lot of recipes to work for us and there are TONS online, so many bloggers cooking and baking low carb, it’s hard to feel like I’m missing something.

This is a lazy enchilada casserole. I used to make it with tortillas and corn. This one replaces the tortillas with poblano peppers and just recently I added a few sheets of the Fathead dough, recipe found here. No corn at all. The Fathead dough can be used for so many things! It does have carbs, but it’s low.

Low-carb Enchilada Casserole

Ingredient list:

  • Poblano peppers, leave whole without seeds and stem
  • Ground beef, turkey or chicken. Whatever your preference.
  • Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, Pepper jack cheese, again preference.
  • Ro-tel tomatoes. I buy the brand at Aldi, it’s the lowest carb I found.
  • Fathead crust. I made 3 sheets for my 8×8 pan.
  • Cream Cheese. Philadelphia is the lowest carb I’ve found.
  • Salt, pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro, taco seasoning. Whatever you like to use.
  • 8×8 pan
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Guacamole (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)

Check your brands. So many off brands add carbs, even if it’s the full fat version. I don’t quite understand that. Also, some name brands are higher than store brand. I check constantly for something better.

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Here’s the carb count of the Philadelphia, less than 1 carb so we round up. The Kroger brand I was buying had 3 carbs per serving.

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Start by roasting the poblano peppers. You can do this in advance to save time. I buy these several weeks during the month, we use them a lot. They can be roasted and frozen whole (minus the seeds and skin) or pureed for all kinds of recipes. Mostly not spicy. I did buy one batch that was!

Here’s how I roast my peppers.

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I already had Fathead dough made, in the fridge. I usually double this recipe when I make it. It freezes well. Just throw it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds to warm it up so you can roll it out.

No, it’s not perfect. :)

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Here it is out of the oven! Watch it closely, it will burn quick. I start mine at 5-6 minutes.

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On the stove top, cook your meat, add ro-tel and cream cheese, cook until it’s melted. I did use 1.5 packages of cream cheese last time. Depends on how much sauce you want. If you have a larger family you may want to double this whole recipe.

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So yummy!

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Next, grab your 8×8 dish and all your ingredients to start assembling. Start with Fathead dough on the bottom, layer the meat sauce, peppers and cheese.

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This is what I mean when I say leave it whole, in “sheets”.

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Now cheese. This time I did pepper jack in the casserole.

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Now continue your layers. I topped it with monterey jack slices since I ran out of shredded pepper jack.

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Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Everything is hot and cooked, it just needs to set up. I turned the broiler on at the end to get some color on the cheese.

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I served it with a salad this time. Guacamole, sour cream and salsa go great with this dish! If you have family members not watching their carbs, give them tortilla chips. I’m sure that would be tasty!

It may not be pretty, but it tastes good!

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We love our Tex-Mex food and I am so happy to be able to convert some of our favorite recipes!

Do you have a favorite Tex-Mex recipe?

Are you low-carb?

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Our low-carb life

I’ve touched a little bit on John and I eating low carb. Some people think we are crazy but it also surprises me how many people are eating this way and I just didn’t know. Besides the weight loss, we sleep better (he says I don’t snore), feel better, and no, I don’t have the crazy sweet cravings. Every once in a while I’ll make a low-carb treat because I still like to bake and so does Ally. And there are plenty of yummy low carb/sugar free desserts out there.

There are some links in this post, I don’t get anything from you clicking on them. :)

Our low-carb life (1)

 

John started us on the road last October and I followed in November. He really keeps me in line most of the time. I have had days where I have extra carbs, like vacation, for instance. It doesn’t take too long to get back on track though, we were strict from day 1 once we got home. Most days I don’t even think twice about it. It’s our new norm. Not a fad diet, but a lifestyle change.

I got my physical this month with x-rays, EKG, full blood panel. Everything from cholesterol to liver and all the numbers are normal or better than normal. So no, eating bacon and butter is not going to kill me. My doctor still takes a second glance at my resting heart rate and said “you don’t look 40.” Thanks, I don’t feel or act it either!

She did ask about my diet and for 2 seconds I hesitated. But she said, if it’s working for you, keep doing it. It does take a lot of self control. You really have to want it. You have to be so ready for a change that you are willing to put in the work. No matter what diet, or lifestyle change, you have to work. Anyone that tells you it’s easy is lying. Easy is ordering pizza or eating cheese fries instead of a salad with your bun-less burger.

Zucchini cheese bread (recipe here) Served with ranch or tomato sauce.

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I’ve been tossing around the idea of carb cycling or re-feed days, rarely though. I am at my goal weight but I don’t want to just start adding carbs in and start feeling like crap. I’m not talking about loaves of bread and cheesecake every week. I’m talking about rare date nights having pizza instead of chicken, or making whole wheat pancakes, something along those lines. I do not like how I feel when I over-eat on carbs and sugar. My body doesn’t like it and it tells me so.

We don’t use ketone supplements to get our bodies into ketosis, we do it with diet. Eating the right foods will do that without supplements. Yes, we eat bacon, butter, full fat dairy, cheese, beef, chicken, veggies and fruit. We steer clear of starchy veggies like potatoes and corn. We eat fruit in moderation like strawberries and blueberries. Lots of meat and veggies. Probably more veggies than I’ve ever eaten in my life.

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I can guarantee we aren’t deprived of good food. These are beef fajitas on low carb flat bread (found here) with homemade queso (NOT velveeta), guacamole under there and chips I made from the flat bread.

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I do meal prep, every week. If not, we will be eating take out. I make a breakfast casserole or egg muffins, hamburger patties, bacon, cut up lettuce and fruit and anything else I can think of. Ally has to take her breakfast to school to eat after morning practice. So she gets an egg muffin and this year she wanted sausage rolls. She gets them homemade and they are made with a low carb dough. Score! And before you ask, no her carbs are not restricted. If she wants pasta she gets it. She has chosen to cut her sugar and sweets way down and has been eating less pasta and bread lately. She’s a runner and I think she finally realized that the professional runners probably aren’t eating ice cream and brownies every night, or chips for that matter. She has made a few choices on her own. We don’t shame her or restrict her diet in any way.

Homemade meatballs served over spaghetti squash. One word, yummy.

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Some of our favorite recipes we got from Pinterest, other bloggers and every day people just trying to make this work for them. I will include a few below.

Anyone else eating low carb / keto?

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She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25