Food! Again with the food! (A diet update, some great dressing, and a little recipe)

Hunter-gatherers, unite!

Just kidding.

Sort of.

So, my bloggy/e-mail/phone friend Kim and I are planning a Cooking Day together.  I’m so excited!*  We were discussing our diets and a menu, and as we are both gluten-free and mostly dairy-free, I think it’ll work really well.  I think we’re going to do Greek food, but that’s not decided.  Anyway.  She mentioned that she’s trying to go grain-free.  I scoffed a bit.  “What?  No grain??  What are you doing, the Paleo Diet?  I can’t imagine life without rice.  And corn.  And buckwheat and quinoa, even!  NO GRAIN??”

Well, here I am on my diet**, three and a half weeks into it, and what is working best?  A diet with meat, loads of veggies, a bit of fruit, legumes, nuts, and pretty much no grains.  In other words, what Kim eats.

For an example…

100 grams of carrots is a lot of carrots.  Not many net carbs (5 g), a fair portion of fiber (3 g).  And, tasty to boot, especially when dipped in Drew’s Smoked Tomato dressing (add another 2 g carbs!).  Yummo.

However, 100 grams of brown rice, which really is not a large serving of rice, has 22 net carbs and only 2 grams of fiber.

I’m finding myself just saying no to grains.  They’re just not worth it.  Same with potatoes, which has only 2 fewer grams of carbs than rice, per 100 g serving.

On a tangential note, I find it particularly frustrating that I have to be SO DARN CAREFUL with what I eat.  It’s my desire to have a diet that is more like a “diet”.  I want it to be long-term sustainable.  Thus, I won’t starve myself, nor do anything completely weird, just for the sake of a couple pounds.  And, I really don’t see measuring everything to be long-term sustainable.  But, it’s what works.  So, what’s a chubbish girl to do??  Measure, I guess.

In my first week, I was limiting myself to 150 net carbs daily, and I lost more than 4 pounds.  I can’t believe I found that discouraging.  Because here I am, in the middle of my fourth week, and I’ve only lost a total of 6.8 lbs.  After I didn’t lose anything the second week (doing the exact same thing I had done the first week), I had to change things up a bit, and lower my carb count to 125.

That pretty much eliminates all non-healthy snacks.  Tortilla chips and Stax are completely out the window.  😦

Oh, well.

Being 6.8 lbs lighter, though, my jeans are starting to be not-so-tight, and that gives me a little hope.

And, I suppose averaging about 2 lbs a week is fair, right?

I guess I had visions of it being a lot simpler than it has been.  I like simple.

However, I have a weird affinity for measuring and figuring, doing a wee bit of math (cross-multiplying, etc.) to figure out the carb count of a part of the total.  I’ll do something like make a whole pot of soup, and measuring out each and every ingredient, using this really handy, informative online nutrition info site, which gives every nutrient and micronutrient in a food…  Then, I add up all the ingredients, and find out what the average, per cup, or per 100 grams, would be.  That way, I can still eat from scratch and feed my family healthily, but be pinpoint on top of my own consumption.

Here’s a little recipe for an example:

Pan-Roasted Root Veggies (click for printable .pdf)

makes 6-8 servings

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 small-medium parsnips (about 230 grams or 8 oz.), peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 6 small-medium carrots (about 290 grams or 10 oz.), peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (about 200 grams, or 7 oz.), seeded and cored, in 1/4″ dice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried parsley

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add parsnips and carrots.  Sauté until about half of them have noticeably brown edges (about 5-10 minutes).

Add red bell pepper, salt, and parsley.  Stir, and turn heat down very low.  Do not add any liquid.  Cook over very low heat for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring infrequently, until vegetables are very tender.


Voila!  With my scale and the above-linked website, I was able to figure out that, on average, 100 grams of this mixture contained 13 net grams of carbs, and an additional five grams of fiber.  One hundred grams of this dish seems like a LOT when on the plate.  It is tasty, filling, beautiful, and more nutritious than rice.  (Plus, everyone liked it a lot!  Sauteeing and slow-cooking the veggies brings out the sweetness of the parsnips and carrots.  Scrumptious!)


*We have agreed (with some giggling) to stick to our mutual interests (including food issues), and, oh!  Kim!  Natural birthing, too!  Birth and food.  🙂  We will not talk politics or religion.  😀

**I hate that word.

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on October 21, 2010, in Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Friendships, GFCF, GFCF Recipes, gluten-free, Vegan. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Sure, we can talk religion and politics. We will just have to agree to disagree. 😉
    This post made me laugh. I don’t cut grains out because I don’t like them. That’s the problem, I like them too much. And like you said, they are so high in carbs it just isn’t worth it…. usually. I wish I could be that into the numbers. Maybe I should try it then I would know just how many carbs I eat and then maybe with that realization I could do better at keeping the carbs down to where they need to be. I know exactly what you mean when you say the pounds aren’t falling off like I think they should. The year before I had Sage I went on my first diet, it was Atkins. The weight just fell off and stayed off. Then I was told to gain weight in order to get pregnant. So I added back carbs, got pregnant and then became gestational diabetic. That was aweful. Insulin shots and everything. Ever since then I think about what my pancreas has to do if I eat or drink anything high in carbs. That said, I just can’t get myself to lower my carbs enough to lose weight. It’s just not so easy anymore. And I HATE the fluffy middle.
    I should have some time tomorrow so I will start looking for recipes. Have you found anything yet? I am so looking forward to our cooking day!!

    Now I am off to Sage’s school to decorate cookies for the 100th party of this school year. I asked one of the “room moms” if I could bring anything. She asked me to bring bottled water and specified that it be floridated. Ugh! I shutter. I got the stuff she requested while I have more objections than I can count but at least it wasn’t Capri Suns or something like that. I have to remember to look at the big picture!

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