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Are eggs bad for you?

Homer simpson fried eggs

Eggs are usually the most obvious answer to the “What’s for breakfast?” question and I tend to get very creative (not as creative as the Homer Simpson eggs in the picture above, but you know what I mean) with my eggs and eat them at least three times a week . I mean who doesn’t love a nice omelet, right?

I’m sure you have heard time and time again that you should be careful how many eggs you eat because they contain loads of cholesterol. I have even read at some point that you should limit consumption of eggs to once a week. If that’s the case, then my cholesterol levels are probably through the roof. Fortunately, in light of recent research, eggs have been proven to be not so bad or even good for you.

When it comes to eggs, we have been told for many years that they contain bad cholesterol and when it comes to the amount of cholesterol consumed we really need to be careful because it can put you at risk for cardiovascular diseases. Turns out that our bodies are even more complex than we can comprehend and the liver plays a role in regulating cholesterol levels in the body. Apparently when we consume less dietary cholesterol the liver produces cholesterol to compensate. If we consume more cholesterol our liver says “hey what’s going on here? you are eating too many eggs” and so it produces less cholesterol.

Now don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that you should go all out on foods high in cholesterol but it does mean that it’s not as bad for you as it was previously believed to be; well, that is until new research comes out saying that it is.

I’m sure you are wondering “if cholesterol is so bad, then why does the body produce more of it?” Again, in light of recent research, cholesterol has been shown to act as an antioxidant that works against dangerous free radical in your blood. It also produces certain hormones that prevent cardiovascular diseases. Recent research also shows that cholesterol helps combat undesirable substances in the blood which is a direct result of consuming processed foods and large quantities of sugars. So when we consume more of this processed garbage the liver produces more cholesterol to help fight off these dangerous substances. These dangerous substances known as free radicals result in small holes in your arteries and guess who comes to the rescue? you got it LDL-Cholesterol comes to the scene to path up these holes. When the holes get out of hand because of the many toxins we consume the number of patched up holes accumulate and result in buildups of scar tissue that can block our arteries and hence result in cardiovascular disease. This is a very simplistic explanation of how this happens and I urge you to read this essay titled “The war on dietary cholesterol” that has a beautiful simplistic explanation of the science behind it all. You will come to know that blaming cholesterol for cardiovascular disease is like blaming a fire on the firemen that came to put it out. 

By now I know you must be thinking “What’s the bottom line here and how much can I safely consume?”  Well to be on the safe side, I would recommend doing your own research and staying within the limits which is about 300 mg. of cholesterol per day for healthy people (about two in terms of eggs). If you have diabetes or any form of cardiovascular disease, then limit your intake to less than 200 mg. per day (one in terms of eggs) and if you want more then consider eating the whites only because it doesn’t contain cholesterol.

So, it seems like the answer to improving your health is not avoiding omelets and not necessarily decreasing dietary cholesterol intake, but rather improving your overall diet by eating the recommended daily allowances, avoiding processed foods and trans fats. Combine this with exercise and you are good to go.

If you want more information, you can check out this article or the associated research which talks about the same subject.

Do you eat lots of eggs too? leave me a comment and let me know what your thoughts are

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The four best foods for late night cravings

Have you ever had those late night cravings that have you running towards the fridge in search of something, aaaaanyting that will satisfy that craving. Well join the club  you are not alone and  its times like these that can really sabotage your weight loss and fitness goals. That is why I have compiled this list of the four best foods to eat at night that wont pack on those extra pounds around your belly, thighs, butt and love handles.

The key here is to know which foods to eat and which to avoid as the night progresses. Your objective here is look for foods that will compliment your fat loss objective. As mentioned in previous posts refined carbohydrate consumption will cause a spike in the storage hormone insulin so we definitely want to stay away from them.

When choosing food for a late night meal

Make sure you keep something in mind known as the Thermogenic effect of food or TEF. So basically each macro nutrient requires a certain amount of calories to metabolize with protein being the highest on the list. Lets say you eat 100 calories of proteins, in order for the body to metabolize these proteins it will require 35% of these 100 calories. So you are really taking in 65 calories. For carbohydrates it is about 15% and for fats around 5%. So you are really better off eating proteins. Just make sure you don’t over eat them. A good rule of thumb is to eat until you are no longer hungry and NOT until you are full.

If I do end up having a late night meal, then what I usually do is skip breakfast the next day and wait until lunch to have a light meal like salad greens and some lean protein like turkey or chicken breast. That way my body will use the late night meal for energy and continue to burn fat until the next meal.

Here are some of my top choices just in case you get those pre bed time craving


Cottage cheese as a late night snack

cottage cheese as a late night snack

I looooove cottage cheese and the best thing about it is that it is slow digesting and keeps you full. just make sure that you get the plain type as the flavored type is usually full of all those unnecessary sugars. Sometimes I like to add cottage cheese to the batter when making low carb waffles.


Turkey or Chicken breasts for those late night munchies

turkey breast for late night cravings

Another gem of food choices is turkey or chicken breast. Both of them are descent in terms of satiety, which means they will keep you fuller for longer and will not initiate the release of insulin. Red meat and fish have a slightly higher insulin response so they are not the best of choices for late night meals. Just keep in mind that the best choice here would be to stay away from processed meats as no one can really guarantee whats in them.


Green Veggies

Green veggies for late night snacks

Green veggies are always a good choice if you get those munchies close to bed time. Not only will they stop your munchies in their tracks but it will also give you a good dose of fiber. Like any other food make sure not to over eat.


Late night Protein Shake

Protein shake for late night cravings

This is also another good choice for late night munchies. Just make sure you choose the right protein powder without all those extra carbs.

Protein shake for late night cravings

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you like to eat when you get hungry late at night?

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How refined carbs are slowly killing you


We all love that sugary snack every now and then but if we only knew the damage it does to our body. This is why it is important to limit the consumption of refined carbs as much as possible. In this video series I have tried to simplify the latest research on the effects of carbs, proteins and fats on the body. Our bodies deals differently with each of these macro nutrients and in this video we will look at how refined carbs affect the level of insulin in your body and ultimately make you fatter.

In the next video in this series we will look at how proteins are synthesized by our body and maybe try to bust the myth that proteins don’t contribute to weight gain. When it comes to protein there are basically two schools of thought on this. One says that excess intake of proteins such as protein shakes and protein bars can contribute to weight gain because excess protein is converted to glucose.  The other school plays down the contribution of protein to weight gain. Well, my thoughts on protein are to match them with your lifestyle. If you are weight lifting or doing excessive exercise then increase your intake, if not, then just go with the recommended daily allowance which is about 0.4 grams per pound (0.8 grams per Kg.) of lean body mass.

One thing is for sure excessive intake of carbs and especially refined carbs will hurt you. This is something that most schools of though agree on, so please do your best to just say no.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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8 storage tips to keep your veggies fresh

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If you are anything like me,  then you have probably been doing  it all wrong when it comes to storing vegetables. How many times have you had to throw out those veggies because they have gone soggy or developed mold. Well after throwing out countless veggies time and time again, I decided to go on a mission to find the best way to keep my veggies for longer. After weeks of research and some trial and error I have compiled this list of the best way to store the most commonly used veggies out there. Please leave a comment and let me know what works best for you.
Vegetable Recommended storage method
Potatoes Potatoes are stored best at room temperature, in a brown paper bag and in a dark environment. Just make sure they are dry when you store them. If you prefer to freeze them then blanch the cut potatoes, drain thoroughly, and store in freezer bags for up to a year.
Cauliflower Store cut cauliflower as you would cut broccoli, but be aware that cauliflower not only loses its flavor quickly once cut (unless it is frozen) but is also particularly sensitive and absorbent to other flavors in the refrigerator, so if refrigerating, try to use the cauliflower as soon as possible.
Carrots Carrots are best kept refrogerated in a covered container filled with water. This will keep them fresh for a long time. If you want to keep them for even longer than just chop up the carrots, blanch in hot water and place them in freezer bags.
Cucumbers Believe it or not cucumbers are best stored at room temperature. Try this little experiment next time you buy some cucumbers. Store some of them in the fridge and store the rest at room temperature away from other fruits and vegetables and see which ones keep longer or taste better.
Lettuce Here is an interesting way to keep your lettuce nice and crisp for more than a week. After washing the lettuce put it in a salad spinner to remove excess moisture. separate the lettuce leafs out and put them in a towel. Roll the towel up and and put rubber bands on the ends and place in your fridge. When you need some lettuce just unroll the towel and take some leafs out. When you are done put it back in the fridge.
Celery Celery is best kept in a bowl of water on your counter top. Like cucumber, celery will start to develop wet patches if it is kept in the refrigerator. If you still want to refrigerate your celery then try wrapping it in aluminum foil. This should keep it crisp for longer.
Tomatoes Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature; however if you do like mushy tomatoes please do refrigerate.
Avocados Refrigerating avocados will actually slow down the ripening process so it is best to store them at room temperature. if you want to speed up the ripening of your avocados then put them in a paper bag with some Bananas.

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Quick easy low carb meals – Batch cooking

One of the hardest parts of dieting is preparing your meals and sticking to them. It seems like we barely have enough time to cope with the daily demands of life let alone have to worry about preparing specialized meals.

 When I fist started looking through the zillions of diets out there the first thing that came to mind was “How was I going to find the time to make this stuff. Since there we so many recipes I constantly had that mental burden thinking things like “What am I going to make for dinner *sigh*” or “I still have to cook *grunt*”. Well with a little bit of organization, planning and some trial and error, it is definitely possible to get those dishes ready in record time.

 This is especially important for those of you that have specific high priority health goals such as: weight loss, muscle gain, fitness/strength goals- then these tips will help keep you on track!


1. Make a meal planmeal plan

Creating a meal plan is one of the most important parts of dieting especially if you are just starting out. It will help you get organized much quicker than selecting your meals day in day out. What I used to do is create a meal plan that matches my fitness goals in terms of macro nutrients and then build a weekly shopping list of the things I will need for my plan. Here you have a few decisions to make when it comes to preparation. First decide which meal it is that you are most pressed for time for. For example, if lunch has you running out to the nearest McDonald’s or Starbucks to grab a quick bite, then decide what you are going to make to prevent that from happening. I usually have a nice chicken or shrimp salad (one of the many lunch dishes in my meal plan) ready for the next day to take with me to work. If breakfast is the meal you are most pressed for time for then make a smoothie before going to bed and put it in the fridge for the morning.


2. Get a food processorfood-processor

Food processors save you tons of time especially when it comes to  preparing your vegetables and meats.  What I usually do is cut, chop, slice and dice enough vegetables and meat to last me a few days. If I want to keep them longer then I usually freeze them in freezer bags. If you want to see some tips on how to store your vegetables check out this post.


3. Cook in large batches

Batch it up, batch it in, let me begin, I came to win, batch me not thats a sin. One of the best strategies to save time with meal preparation is to cook your meals in large batches.  So after following the steps above, what I usually do is make enough of something to last at least 2 weeks.  So, for example if i make cauliflower fried rice then I would make at least 6 to 7 servings and keep 2 in the fridge to be used within the next 3 days. The remaining would be separated out into freezer bags of 1 serving each and put in the freezer. That way I can use them when I want. I do have to warn you that my kitchen usually looks like Alvin and the chipmunks had a food fight in it after I’m done. Thats one of the reasons why I prefer to do this only once a week.


4. Get a slow cookerslow cooker

A slow cooker or crock pot is one of the best investments you will ever make. Not only are they cheap, but they also make some very tasty and healthy dishes. Put all your previously prepared ingredients in the slow cooker just before you go to work or after you come back. If you do this before work then the food should be ready when you are back. Keep in mind that you will need to time it properly because most dishes will take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to prepare. What I do is make a large batch of something by putting it in the cooker overnight. After waking up in then morning I pack whatever I made in the slow cooker to take with me for lunch. The rest goes in the fridge or freezer for later use. P.S. try not to make cauliflower in it, I tried this the other day and my neighbors on the other side of the building could smell it.

If you have any other tips for making quick and easy low carb meals then please leave a comment.

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Cauliflower fried rice 

Cauliflower fried rice instruction video

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Low carb meal recipes – Cauliflower pizza crust


cauliflower pizza crust
Good day everyone

So this is a recipe that I tried at my sisters house when I first got into the low carb game.  At that time she had been making low carb stuff for a long time and I would come over and taste  her cooking. I was actually amazed at how some of the dishes she made for her low carb diet plan actually tasted better than the original carb-o-licious stuff (maybe I’m getting old). I also saw first hand how it made a difference in her weight as she had been struggling to lose weight for many years.

This recipe basically substitutes pizza dough for a cauliflower based crust and you can use whatever you want for the toppings although we do suggest picking  your toppings wisely (low in carbs) .

Go ahead and watch the video I have prepared that will take you through the process step by step. Fell free to pause as you move along and also do let me know what you think and if there is any way I can improve these videos in the future.

For those of you that prefer the text based recipe  here it is:

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients which you can tick away as you get them ready.

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place cauliflower in a food processor and puree until finely ground.
  3. Place ground cauliflower, water, and salt together in a skillet over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until fragrant and most of the water evaporates. Let it cool completely.
  4. Place a clean dish towel on your counter and move the cauliflower to the center of the towel. Wrap the cauliflower in the towel and squeeze tightly to remove all excess moisture. You should end up with about 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower pulp.
  5. Add the cauliflower, italian cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, egg, and pepper together in a bowl and mix to form a soft dough.
  6. Form the dough into a ball shape and then place it in the center of the baking sheet. Press down on the dough to form a circle which is about 1/4-inch thick.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes and until the crust is of a golden brown color.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
  9. Add your chosen toppings and bake again in the oven for about 10 minutes.

 

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Low carb humor

Here is a little bit of Simpson style humor for those of you getting into low carb diets.

  1. When a bad day at work leads to carb over load!

homer-baguette-carb

2. When you are out and about and cant find any low carb snacks

cant find low carb

 

3. When a family member or friend cooks for you and still gives you carbs, despite you telling them about your diet

family

 

4. When you haven’t lost any weight despite following your plan perfectly

cant lose

 

 

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