Check out our links to a few low carb morsels that we are loving this week. Enjoy!
♥ Laura and Deb ♥
We Can’t Wait to Try This!
It may just be me, but doesn’t just looking at the golden, crispy skin on this Umami Roast Chicken make you want to dive right in?! It’s calling my name, so I’ll be pulling some chicken thighs out of my freezer very soon.
If you’re not familiar with the term “umami,” it is the savory, meaty-like flavor that comes from the natural glutamates in a number of foods. In this recipe, the umami flavor comes from a seasoning made with dried porcini mushrooms, along with Asian fish sauce. Now, if you haven’t used either of these ingredients, not to worry! They’re easy to find in many stores and they add a huge flavor boost to many dishes, Asian-style or not.
Nom Nom Paleo is a terrific, very well-known recipe blog by Michelle Tam. While the paleo way eating isn’t necessarily low carb, there is a lot of overlap. Paleo focuses on whole foods from high-quality, minimally-processed sources. It eschews grains, dairy, soy, and sugar substitutes, but allows the natural sugars that come from foods such as sweet potatoes, fruit, honey, and maple syrup. You can most definitely do a combination of low carb and paleo — just skip the foods that contain high carb natural sugars and you’re pretty much there.
One of the key ingredients in this dish is Michelle’s signature Magic Mushroom Powder. It is super-easy to make yourself, but it can also be found ready-to-go at Whole Foods. You’ll notice that one of the other main ingredients in the recipe is coconut yogurt, but if you’re not dairy-free or paleo, it’s fine to substitute regular plain greek yogurt.
Sugary Shakes in the Hospital (or anywhere else) Aren’t Good Medicine!
Deb and I are vigorously nodding in agreement with a recent New York Times article from Dave Lieberman, MD, a resident in Internal Medicine-Primary Care. Dr. Lieberman recounts routinely ordering “liquid nutritional supplement shakes,” such as Boost and Ensure, for his elderly and/or very sick patients with “protein caloric malnutrition.” In theory, these highly-processed shakes provide an easy, dense, and palatable source of nutrition for those who are having trouble meeting their needs through regular food. One day he stopped to look at the label and everything changed for him:
“I pick up one of the colorful, cheery boxes and turn it over to look at its ingredient list. My eyes find the first and main ingredient: water. Then the second ingredient by quantity: corn syrup. There, farther down the list, is a milk-derived protein, and then, more sugar. The protein content is only 10 grams. The diminutive Greek yogurt I had that morning before work contained more protein and a fraction of the sugar. A wave of queasy guilt comes over me as I think, “This is how I’ve been treating malnutrition?” Beverages that contain refined sugars like these have been linked in many rigorous studies to metabolic derangements such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and fatty liver disease.”
Dr. Lieberman goes on to describe that he now recommends yogurt and kefir as the base for smoothies, along with nutrient-dense additions such as avocado, berries, spinach, or peanut butter. For those who are lactose-intolerant or don’t like the taste of yogurt/kefir, he suggests nondairy alternatives such as a sugar-free nut or soy milk with high-protein preparations added (i.e., whey and/or egg protein powders). Although I haven’t tried them, I know from other low carb followers that use ready-to-drink options, they like the low sugar, high protein beverages from Premier Protein, which are widely available. While they may not be homemade, they do have vitamins and minerals added and can be enriched with heavy cream or coconut milk to improve the flavor and add calories from healthy fats.
Unfortunately, the medical and institutional use of the highly-processed “nutritional” shakes is commonplace, not only in hospitals and senior care centers, but also recommended by doctors to seniors to use at home as a meal replacement. Our father was a resident at a memory care facility for a period of time and we came to find that the staff was giving him these shakes when he wasn’t eating his meal fast enough. Our dad loved to eat and did quite well feeding himself (albeit slowly), but he was unwilling to be fed (or rushed) by others. We would bring in full-fat Greek yogurts or smoothies for the staff to give him instead, but unless we were physically there to remind them, out came the sugary shakes. Eventually, we moved him to a family-run care home that was happy to provide him with freshly-made, nutritional smoothies when he wasn’t otherwise interested in eating.
There are far healthier and better-tasting options out there than the over-priced, cheaply-made commercial “supplement shakes.” For quick, nutritious, and protein-packed smoothies, check our Yogurt Berry Smoothie Triple-Play recipe!
Could Skimping on Protein Make You Binge on Carbs and Fat?
If you’ve heard varying opinions on the hot topic of the role dietary protein should play in a well-formulated low carb diet, you’ll want to check out this excellent post on the Protein Leverage Hypothesis from the Designs for Health blog.
“Stated most simply “the protein leverage hypothesis (PLH) predicts that humans prioritize protein when regulating food intake.” In plain English, protein leverage speculates that we are driven to consume food until we meet our minimum protein or amino acid needs. The real-world implication is that if we don’t consume adequate protein we will overconsume foods high in carbohydrates and/or fats in a subconscious effort to obtain those critical amino acids.”
It’s Worth Repeating
It’s the perfect time of year to start your day with our Low Carb Instant Hot ‘Cereal’. This popular recipe from 2016 has received over 100 “likes” on our Facebook page, so I know there are a lot of you out there who, like us, are looking for a tasty low carb breakfast alternative to eggs. One of our readers, Linda, commented, “This is very good. I admit I was a bit skeptical before I tried my first bite but I love it!”
You can prepare it one serving at a time, or make up a batch and have it ready to go in minutes! We love to customize it with various spices and other stir-ins, such as pumpkin, berries, nuts, and sugar-free maple syrup. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Have a great weekend!