On 9th January we started on a new way of eating (WOE) we are following the 8 week Sugar Free Diet. This has been medically proven to help people with Type 2 Diabetes and various other life threatening conditions.
Neither of us have diabetes, however we are extremely bad with the high sugar diet and with ever increasing waistlines, it was time that we needed to change things, and this a great way of shifting excess weight to get you into a healthier way of living and eating.
The general principals of this diet:-
Minimise or avoid the ‘white stuff’ bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, processed cereals, all refined and starchy carbohydrates which rapidly turn to sugars in the blood.
Cut right down on sugar, sugary treats, drinks and desserts
Eat more veg
Include some fruit, but ideally not more than 1-2 portions daily
Include plenty of high-quality protein – 40-50 g per day
Enjoy your dairy products and eat more healthy fats and oils
Bring on the vinegar
All of this for the first 8 weeks and controlling the calories to 800 per day. Each person has their preferred way of consuming 800 calories per day, 1 meal, 2 meals or 3 meals per day, you should try not to snack as this can cause blood sugar spikes (insulin) and of course this is the reason for the types of foods that should be eaten and those not. In addition you should aim to drink a minimum of 2 ltrs of water per day, 3 ltrs if you can manage it, so get drinking.
The main book is here
and the recipe book, this has lots of nice recipes, although not are all completely suitable for the first 8 weeks, so my advice is to focus on the recipes in the first book for the first couple of weeks until you understand the principals then you will know what is good and whats not.
So on with our progress, Week 2 and we are feeling great. However we did have a little lapse at the end of week 1 as we had some friends round for aperos and there was a few food items that were just too tempting and of course some alcohol, although I did not have any, it was just too tempting for my hubby.
So we start the week with a drop for me and an increase for hubby.
My loss from week 1 = 1.9kg and for hubby 5kg, a great success as far as we were concerned.
Week 2 and we were raring to go.
This post has taken more time than I had planned to write as I have been looking to get as many references to help others as I can, which has hindered my progress with my writing, so I have decided to just get the details of our progress for this week and then come back to the reference and information. I will build the links as I go.
Monday morning we were back on the scales and it was 1.9 kg drop for me and 5kg drop for hubby, great progress in week 1. Breakfast was leftovers from the Aperos on sunday, although good leftovers, roasted tomatoes, crustless quiche and a couple of pork balls, all calculated at 141 calories, lunch was a nice piece of chicken breast with lime and coriander (I do love coriander) – 257 calories and evening meal was a quick prawn curry with cauliflower couscous 392 calories. The total for Monday was 790 calories. I real revelation is cauliflower and its uses on this diet.
Tuesday started well, no hunger and keeping up the water intake, really important on this diet, the recommendation is 2 ltrs per day, but if you can manage 3 then even better. So breakfast was scrambled eggs with mushrooms and tomatoes, delicious and only 176 calories, lunch was beef meatballs with a tomato ragu – 395 calories and dinner was mushroom bourgignon – 223 calories, with the total for Tuesday coming to 794, no complaints for this.
Wednesday and we enjoyed a couple of poached eggs with a half of avocado for breakfast, calorie count was 188, lunch was a tuna salad coming in at 239 calories and dinner was a Carbonara at 250 calories as this was with courgetti rather than pasta which makes all the difference. I don’t cook the courgetti as it is nice and thin and the heat off of the sauce is usually enough to soften it slightly, what you dont want is soggy courgetti. The total for Wednesday was 677 calories.
Thursday I realised that I needed to increase our fat content, I was being very careful with the fat numbers and was hindering our weight loss as you do need fat (good fat) to help you burn fat. So Thursday we started with a mushroom omelette 145 calories, lunch was butternut squash soup, with a healthy dollop of creme fraiche added – 238 calories and dinner was a chicken stir-fry, no noodles or rice so it came in at 260 calories. Total for Thursday was 640, still too low for our target of 800 calories per day.
Friday I decided that I was going to try a nice breakfast of Greek yogurt, a chopped apple and crushed hazelnuts, calorie count was 193 and it was delicious, I was really satisfied, didn’t feel hungry and enjoyed it. Not to say I hadn’t enjoyed any of the previous breakfast, but this was really yummy. Lunch was Chicken, butter bean and walnut salad, I got the recipe from one of the books, I was a bit wary of using the beans, but they are allowed on this diet as long as you have the calories, this came in at 260 calories for me, dinner was Pork & Parmesan, with lots of veggies, 280 calories, 740 for the day.
Saturday started with my yogurt and apple as for Friday and then we headed out shopping, we had some food shopping to do and also we were re-designing one of the showers in the bedrooms, so it was a trip to the diy store. A walk around the DIY store and then we spotted a new fruit and veg shop, so we went in there to see what they had. Their produce was lovely, some fantastic apples and the selection of vegetables was great, however the price of courgettes would make your eyes water . I had seen quite a lot of comments on the facebook page about courgettes and their limited availability. Seems there is a world wide shortage and if you can get them, then the prices are ridiculous, we decided to see if we could find any at a better price, closer to home. They also had some really nice nuts, so we bought some assorted nuts and that was our lunch in the car. Off to the Bio-coop to see if we could find some coconut butter although I had had some delivered from Amazon along with some coconut flour and psyllium husks, I had seen a recipe from Tom Kerridge that used them, so they are now in the cupboard waiting to be used.
I really wanted to find Hallumi cheese and cottage cheese, hence our visit to the Bio-coop, but no, nothing there either. Not easy to find them in France.
Then it was home and dinner was Cauliflower Crust Pizza and salad. An experiment that i wanted to try and it was a great success, both of us really enjoyed it and there was nothing about missing real bread for this. Definitely worth the effort, to be honest no more effort than making pizza dough from scratch. The pizza came in at 350 calories and then with the salad a little bit more.
Sunday was a nice day, the sun was shining and we decided to have a quite day at home and to take Margot our puppy out of a walk. It would be her first time out walking on a lead, that was going to be fun (ha ha). Breakfast was eggs, bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes, 390 calories and lunch was cold meat, cheese, pickles and salad 270 calories, then we headed out with Margot and home for Turkey dinner with some green veggies coming in at 260. Today was over the 800 calories – 920 to be exact and with some of the previous days being under, it was balanced out over the week. This was turning out to be easier than I had thought.
So the results for the week were variable, I managed to lose 1.5 kg, however there was only a 400g drop for hubby and he was not a happy chappy. I knew it was going to be a struggle keeping him on track for the next 6 weeks, if he is not seeing any benefits on the scales he will just though in the towel.
So results for the 2 weeks me – 3.4 kgs and hubby 5.4 kgs.
The food is great and there is no instances of feeling hungry, the issue for hubby is that he enjoys a glass of wine with his dinner, and of course this is not an option with only 800 calories per day. He has agreed to continue for another week to see if there is any progress, the one thing that did give him food for thought was that he went down another hole in his belt, so we are at number 4 now and he has not been there for a long time.
Although we didn’t know this little snippet of info before the end of week 2, ibuprofen causes you to retain water and hubby had slipped on the Sunday of week 1 and hurt his leg and back so he had been taking ibuprofen all week, therefore at least we had an answer to the lack of weight loss and a way forward.
I use MyFitnessFriend to build the recipes and calculate the calories for them, it has a very extensive library of foods. Its free and really useful.
Well this has been a revelation to me, using cauliflower as the crust for a pizza, ok, its not exactly the same as your typical bread dough crust, but when you are on a low carb diet/regime, it is more than acceptable.
Hubby asked me if it was more work, really no, there are are a few steps to making the base, however there is also a number of steps to making a bread dough from scratch as I would normally do, so the easy answer is NO.
It is filling and serving it with some salad is very satisfying, honest it really is worth a go.
Once the base is cooked, then you can add you toppings, pop it back in the oven for the cheese to melt and then its eating time.
Take a small to medium cauliflower, remove the leaves and the thick stock from the center.
Roughly chop the cauliflower and then place in a food processor and whizz until you have breadcrumb size. If you don’t have a food processer then you can use a grater, it does the same job.
Once you have breadcrumbs, place them into a bowl and place a lid on or plastic wrap and place into the microwave for 4 minutes, when the time is up, remove and give the mixture a stir then place back into the microwave for another 3-4 minutes, remove and leave on the side for another 5 minutes, this will help to steam the cauliflower.
Once it is cooked, tip the crumbs out onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool until it is cool enough to handle, you need to squeeze out the water, get as much water out as possible, it will help with dough.
When you have removed the water, then place the cauliflower back into the bowl add the eggs and seasoning and mix well together.
Place a sheet of greaseproof paper onto a backing tray, and press the cauliflower mixture out to the size you want. Make sure it is nice and compact so that it forms a crust in the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes in a very high oven, and then remove and add your toppings, first the crushed tomatoes, then the cheese, little bits of ham and then the cherry tomatoes. Of course you can use which ever toppings you like.
Then it was back in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese was bubbly and melted and then it was cut into slices and served with some salad leaves.
Nutritional Values for this dish
CAULIFLOWER CRUST, 1 serving(s)
Pizza topping , 1 serving(s)
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Low Carb cauliflower crust pizza, add your toppings and delicious meal.
Remove the leaves and center stock from the cauliflower and chop then blitz in a food processor until you have bread crumbs.
Place the cauliflower into a bowl with a lid (or plastic wrap) and place in the microwave for 4 minutes, Remove and give it a stir then place back in the microwave for another 4 minutes.
Remove from the microwave and leave the lid on for about 5 minutes, to complete the cooking/steaming process.
When ready, tip the contents of the bowl out onto a clean tea towel and leave to cool until you can handle the cauliflower, you need to squeeze out as much water as possible.
Place the dry cauliflower back into the bowl and add the eggs and seasoning and mix through.
Place a sheet of greaseproof paper onto a baking tray, I used a pizza tray for the shape, then tip the contents of the bowl out and press the mixture on the try, make sure it is nice and compact.
Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, this should be enough time to create a crust on the bottom of the cauliflower.
Tip the crushed tomatoes into a bowl and add the herbs, mix through.
Remove the cooked crust from the oven and add the toppings, first the tomatoes then the cheese, ham and sliced cherry tomatoes.
Place the pizza back into the oven and bake until the cheese is melted. This should be about 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and slice, and set on a plate with your green salad.
Add any herbs and spices to the crust, it is softer than a typical bread dough, however it can be lifted like a slice of pizza and is delicious. We did not miss the bread dough.
2017 sees another significant birthday in our household, OH has a BIG birthday and we have a load of friends coming to celebrate at the end of February.
We decided that it was about time that we dealt with our ever growing waistlines and what better motivation is there than a big celebration.
We eat exceptional well and I usually do not pay any attention to portions, calories, ingredients, other than they need to be the best and we enjoy them.
So it was time to make some changes and I decided to research a number of diets, Atikins, Slimming World, Military Diet, Sugar Free, 5:2 Diet, Hay diet, Dr Unwin, you name it I have had a good look.
I initially opted for the 5:2 diet, with a combination of calorie control. I know it is all about 2 fasting days and then just eating normally the other 5 days, but when I looked at our food consumption and calorie intake, well lets just say I needed to consider lots of things. 2 days fasting (500-600 calories per day) and 5 days of eating a Mediterranean diet.
Plenty of help on the internet for the meals to eat on your fasting days (500 calories) however most of the info for the other days, just states “eat healthy”. More research ….
I usually do not take any notice of calories, but this time I decided I needed to take lots of things into consideration, if I am informed then I can make decisions (good or bad).
I found a great website www.myfitnesspal.com, you enter your recipes and it shows the nutritional details Calorie counter and also you can keep your food diary, so you can see your daily calories, fat, fibre, carbs etc. very handy. You need to signup for an account, but no costs and lots of info there, or you can build your own recipes or import from a link, great resource when you care counting calories.
The tv has been full of diet programs, we watched one last week ‘Save Money: Good Health’ on ITV, where it compared 6 different diets over 28 days and ranked them based on the weight loss and the cost of the food/programme. There was a good selection, Lighter Life, Diet Chef, 5:2 Diet, and 3 others that I can not remember at the moment.
I have since decided that we are going to follow ‘The 8 week Sugar Free Diet’, 8 week program with 800 calories per day. Its a Low Carb diet, removing the bad carbs :- starchy carbs, potatoes, parsnips etc and rice, pasta, bread, white flours etc.
So we are starting on the 8 Week Sugar Free Diet. This is an 8 week plan, lots of evidence on helping with Diabetes, neither of us have diabetes, however we really need to sort out our sugar intake, too many cakes and the like, but also from the hidden sugars, in bread, pasta, rice and some fruits and vegetables and is a good starter for the 5:2 diet which is a ‘Way-of-life’ diet and should be the next step when we are happy we have got our target weights and want to maintain our weight and healthy diet.
There is a great TheBloodSugarDiet that has lots of information and also books to help your decide on your options.
So Monday morning, we were up and ready to get started, scales were stepped on and weight recorded :-).
Eggs are a good starting point for breakfast, so mushroom omelette it was, we both enjoy omelette and mushrooms so no concern with this choice, then it was chicken salad at lunch with grated beetroot and apple, then pork and veggies for dinner. No treats but plenty of glasses of water and a few cups of decaf tea.
We both felt really good at the end of the day, many quick dashes to the loo, so the guess was things were working. We joked that maybe we would need to take a bucket upstairs.
Early start on Tuesday, should have taken the bucket upstairs (ha ha).
Another round of omelette, just a plain one for me and mushrooms again for OH.
Lunch was pork stir fry and evening meal was a couple of nice steaks with lots of roasted veg, obligatory water and tea of course. Again feeling good, no adverse affects, no hunger pangs, so far. In fact, I noticed that I was not tired at my usual time in the evening and was quite happy to watch the end of program that finished at 11pm, very unusual for me.
Wednesday started fine, not sure if it hit so quickly, however I did feel a little irritable and put it down to my body reacting to the new regime and especially the restricted calories.
We had carrot and coriander soup for lunch, really enjoyed it. However by 3pm I was starting to feel hungry and a bit tired, I opted for a cup of tea, without the biscuits or cake. I could not give in so quickly. Thai fish cakes were on the menu for the evening with a nice salad and more water. Really enjoyed our meal and was very satisfied.
Thursday morning started well, eggs as usual and we were both very pleased with our results on the scales. 1kg for me and 3 for OH, in 3 days that was great progress. Lunchtime was leftover Thai fish cakes and salad and our evening meal was Coriander and Lime Chicken breast and ‘cauliflower’ rice, a fantastic addition to the menu items. Again I felt great, more away than usual in the evening, and still managing to get to sleep when I went to bed.
Friday and again more eggs, this time I made scrambled eggs with fried mushrooms and tomatoes, really tasty and plenty on the plate, definitely satisfied us until lunchtime. Lunchtime was a delicious (even if I do say so myself) Prawn and Broccoli salad. Then in the evening we had oven roasted Salmon with roasted carrots and celeriac. Mood was good and energy levels up. Another good day.
Saturday we had to get moving as we had the yearly meeting at the Mairies office, all the local residents are invited to the meeting to see whats been going on in the last year and what they are planning for the year to come. We had breakfast and off we went with the plan to go shopping after the meeting. However the meeting ran on and we came home before heading of shopping we were both too hungry to do a long shop on an empty stomach and too temping to just grab something that we shouldn’t. I fried up more mushrooms, tomatoes and bacon, yes on a diet. Then we headed off shopping and when we came home, I made Kedgeree, not the calorie/sugar loaded variety with white rice, but with ‘cauliflower’ rice and some smoked haddock. Very nice and filling, certainly no need for dessert. Not that there is any on this diet. Although technically possible if you have been very good and have some calories available. I did note that I felt ‘fat’ in the evening and I suspect I had over eaten, although I did not have a huge portion on my plate, must be my stomach shrinking already.
Sunday, well it was going to be a challenging day, we had invited some friends around fro ‘Aperos’ so there would be alcohol and nibbles and I needed to make sure there was enough nibbles that we could eat as well as our guests. Breakfast was Portabella mushrooms with tomatoes a little feta cheese and poached eggs. Lunch was a nice ham salad and then on the table we had some very tasty Ham and egg cups, roasted tomatoes with meat balls, green olives, crust-less quiche on the other side of the table there was sandwiches, sausage rolls, pork pies, scones and chocolate brownies. We were good, however did struggle a little and gave in to the temptation, once everyone had left, I had a little scone, it was delicious, I really enjoyed it, although my stomach and innards did complain with niggling pains later, so wont be going there again for a long time.
So Monday has come around again (as it always does after Sunday , ha ha) and we were on the scales again. For me I lost a total of 1.9kg and OH 5kg. We are both very happy with the results and hope to keep the same level of progress this week, no get-togethers planned so should be in better control for the full week.
The quote of the week was from OH, on Saturday he mentioned that he knew he had lost 3+kg, but didn’t know where as he didnt feel any different. Then when he came downstairs for us to go out, he was fighting with his belt, bloody thing, I cant find the hole, can you see what is wrong……. yes you guessed it, there was no hole as he had lost inches, 3 inches lots. FANTASTIC……
Overall we have felt great throughout the week a couple of moments of feeling hungry, but nothing to be concerned about and less tired in the evenings and general energy levels up. So we will be continuing this week and will continue to chart our progress and menus.
We have started on a new regime for 2017, there is a significant birthday this year for my OH and we wanted to ensure that we dealt with our ever increasing waistlines and health. To be honest no real health issues, we just know that we should be eating healthier and this is a perfect time to start.
We are following the 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet, it is a Low Carb diet, however it is also restricted calories – 800 per day, give or take a few on a daily basis, as it will balance out over the week.
This is a new way of eating and cooking, I need to consider all of the ingredients ensuring that we have healthy balanced meals with protein and carbs, but healthy carbs, yes you can use fat, however fat is calories so too much butter, olive oil, coconut oil, etc all add to the daily total of calories and reduce the ingredients we can eat.
There are a number of great resources on the internet for recipes, calorie counting/calculating, tables with carb values of meats, vegetables and fruit so it is about finding the ones that are useful and stick to them.
I am currently using MyfitnessPal to load recipes and calculate calories. It has been helpful, quick and easy to use although you need to signup there is no charges, you can load recipes, get the nutritional information and also it has a food diary so I can see the calories I have used everyday.
This recipe is a great recipe for using all of the broccoli, even the stem, if you haven’t already got a spiralizer, then please consider investing in a sprializer, not expensive and quick and easy and we find we eat a lot more vegetables. There are loads on the market, have a look for the one that suits you and your budget, this is the one we use.
I started with preparing the broccoli, I used a 500g piece of broccoli and took the florets off the stem and then cutting them, not too small, I like to have a cut edge on the floret so this can get nice and crispy in the oven. I added the florets to a bowl, they weighed 230g (all for the calculation) then I drizzled with some olive oil and tossed the broccoli around, so that it was coated in the oil. I then seasoned with salt, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice, gave it another toss and then layed it out onto a large oven tray. I like to make sure that there is a lot of space around the florets and that the oven is really high, it gets the cooking started quickly and you get that great charring on them. While they were in the oven, I turned to the stem, you need to clean it up a bit, just trim off any dirty bits. Then its about getting those spirals. I have found that if you place the end of the stem, where it has been cut from the ground, it is easier to work through the spiralizer, to be honest there is no right or wrong, it is just my preference.
We were also having prawns with this dish, it will work well with any protein, I cleaned the prawns and placed them in a bowl until I was ready with everything else.
I checked the broccoli in the oven, it was charring up nicely, they usually take about 15-20 minutes to get all nice and crispy, just keep an eye on them and toss them around on the baking tray so that you get some colour all over.
I finely sliced some baby gem lettuce, cucumber and red onion.
When the broccoli in the oven was just about there, I fried the spirals of broccoli stems, heated 1 tsp of olive oil in a frying pan and added the spirals, no real need to ‘cook’ them as such, just to warm them through 2-3 minutes will do the job.
Now it was all about assembling everything. I tossed the lettuce, cucumber and red onion in a bowl then I added the spirals of broccoli, I did cut them a bit as they do have a tendency to spring back together (a bit like a slinky) then dressed the plate with the salad, topped it with the prawns and then the roasted broccoli florets, a dollop of Greek yogurt on the side and dinner is served.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal, yes we are following the Low Carb diet, but this is a delicious meal even if you are not following any diets.
Nutritional Values for this dish
Prawns with Broccoli Salad
Delicious dish with prawns and a warm salad, making the most of the broccoli stem and a spiralizer. Great low carb dish, perfect for lunch or main meal.
Pre-heat the oven to 240c conventional/220 fan/gas 9.
Cut the florets off of the broccoli and cut again, then place in a bowl and 1 tsp of olive oil, the zest of the lemon and 1 tsp of lemon juice. Toss them in a bowl and then tip out on to a large baking tray. Space the florets out so they have space to roast rather than steam.
Place in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, occasionally checking and tossing around to get good colour all over.
Clean the prawns, removing the shells and de-veining, place in a colander , rinse and leave to drain while you get the rest of the ingredients prepared.
Take the stem of the broccoli and clean off any dirty bits, then cut into 'spaghetti' using the spiralizer, I usually place the cut end (from the ground) onto the cutting blades, I find it easier for getting the most out of the stem. It worked out that I got 250g of broccoli-etti and 230g of the florets, really making the most of this delicious vegetable.
Cook the spirals for 2-3 minutes.
Clean and thinly slice the lettuce, cucumber and red onion and place them into a bowl. Toss them to mix through.
When the broccoli florets are nearly ready, add 1 tsp of olive oil to a frying pan and fry the broccoli spirals, I cut them a bit just to make it easier for tossing in the salad and splitting on the plates.
When the broccoli spirals are ready, toss them into the bowl with the other salad ingredients and mix through.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice and toss again.
When you are ready to plate up, split the salad between your plates, then add the prawns on top and then the broccoli florets.
Add 1 tbsp of Greek yogurt to each plate.