New Starbucks Drink Alert!

Y’all, this is the way, the truth, and the light!

Okay that might have been a touch dramatic, but if there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I LOVE to overpay someone to make me a drink I could have made at home in less than 2 minutes and for less than a dollar. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m a Starbucks Gold member from drinking unsweeteend iced teas alone. Leave me alone about it okay?!

Anyway, I went in for my usual Venti Passion Tango, Unsweet with lime (I bring my own) and saw they have a new infused tea line and I couldn’t resist. I had the Pineapple Black Tea Infusion which can best be described as a delicate blend of perfectly brewed tea with a pineapple after-punch (like an aftertaste, but a little more in your face), and my friend got the Peach Citrus White Tea Infusion.

Both were TO-DIE-FOR! Get in my low carb mouth!! I’m going to try the other flavor on Friday when they have their free tea event, but I’m betting it’s just as delicious as the others.

Just don’t watch the commercials for them, they’re weird. Don’t click that hyperlink. Don’t do it. (You’re going to do it, aren’t you?)

I’ve been doing some temp nanny work this week for my old nanny family. I literally love these people and was super sad to have to leave them to go back to school. My heart has been extra full of toddler hugs, tantrums, and picky eating. 

I’m a picky eater myself, so I get it! Today I’m having my favorite low carb lunch! 

broccoli, kielbasa, and cheese!

It’s so easy to throw together. I literally just dump half a bag of frozen broccoli in the container, chop up some sausage, and grab a portion of cheese that I always keep graded. If I’m in a super hurry, I cut the sausage up at lunch time instead of when I’m packing lunch. Microwave with the lid slightly popped open for venting and steaming, add some S&P, and enjoy! 

I also couldn’t decide between the La Croix and the Spindrift so I brought them both out… that Pamplemousse though 😍

Otherwise Occupied

I remember a few weeks ago when I told y’all that I was going to have so many updates this summer and about all of the fun we were going to have together. I know you remember it too. Well then… life happened hard. I mean real hard you guys.

It all started one day when my doctor put me on medicine for some of my PCOS symptoms. It made it really difficult for me to breathe, so I went back to the doc and got switched to medicine number two. Well… shortly after starting that one my lip decided to quadruple in size. So after an urgent care trip and rapid administration of steroids and Benadryl, I went back to the doctor for a third medication. That one gave me vertigo like you wouldn’t believe.  So I went back to the original medicine and tried to just take it at night so I could just have my “breathing episodes” at bedtime when it wouldn’t ruin my entire day. Well, fast forward about three days or so to me enjoying  a Father’s Day movie with husband and my heart starts racing uncontrollably and I can’t catch my breath. Exciting movie!

The movie was not exciting enough for all of that. Like an idiot, I stuck it out for the duration of the movie by forcing myself to take uncomfortable deep breaths and closing my eyes and focusing on serene things during actions scenes so I didn’t get worked up accidentally. After the movie, I went home to take my vitals to help me determine whether there was cause for alarm. The blood pressure cuff gave an erratic reading, my pulse/heart rate was crazy high, but before any of that, I couldn’t make it up the usual three flights of stairs without stopping for a legit sit down rest to breathe.

We left for urgent care when it was evident that I couldn’t get through a short sentence without gasping for air and my resting heart rate wouldn’t decrease from the high 130’s. Urgent care sent me to the ER after I failed some test that shows whether you have the potential to have a heart attack or not – even though they didn’t think I was at risk for a heart attack.

The ER was a whirlwind of tests and people poking, prodding, and asking me questions. It took them a solid 45 minutes to get an IV in my arm (there’s a nasty bruise left behind from that), and after the 4th nurse blew a 3rd vein, they got an ultrasound machine to guide them in. Pregnancy test (negative), CAT scan (negative for heart issues), and on and on we went. Two different ER doctors independently stated that they didn’t believe I was even at risk for a heart attack, one even said, “you don’t have a compelling story for heart attack”. But the problem was, my heart rate wouldn’t decrease, my blood pressure was dipping and spiking all over the place and nobody had any idea why.

The ER had me admitted to the hospital (cue mobile transport AKA non-emergency ambulance ride!) for overnight monitoring, which turned into multiple night monitoring. By the time it was all said and done, I’d had over 10 EKGs, a CAT scan, 2 D-Dimers, a standard stress test, and a nuclear medicine stress test (both of which came back abnormal), and a few ultrasounds of my heart. Finally, I was sent for a cardiac catheterization. Talk about scary.

In the end though, it turns out I was totally fine, and all of the doctors who were just sure there was nothing wrong with my heart – and TOTALLY SHOCKED every time a test came back abnormal – were completely right. After the cath I was told that my heart is the healthiest they’ve seen in anyone my age (34) and that there’s zero chance of me having a cardiac episode in the next 10 years at least.

So what the hell was I there for? Oh you know, probably just a run of the  mill anxiety attack. Cool stuff.

Anyway, that’s the long version of why I haven’t don any of that updating I promised. I have been quite down and way out for the last few weeks. I’m back up and running now!

And just for some fun: Here I am possibly dying…

… and here’s a sampling of the slop they feed you when you’re on cardiac lockdown. I’m not entirely certain how this is considered healthy, and we can talk about them force starving me then feeding me this later, but… yuck!

Sigh… time for summer to officially begin again!

Low Carb Easter

I’ve already said it, but, the end of the semester/school year was ROUGH. And as such, I pretty much shirked all responsibilities that weren’t studying. But, I finished a huge independent research paper – which I will publish here as per many requests – got a B in Anatomy and Physiology (so I’m moderately versed in all things human body), and an A in everything else!

So now I have some back dated posts to shre before I can get to the current stuff. Bare with me, book mark it for next year when it’s more relevant, remember you own good times, etc.

Starting with… Easter with the in-laws!

 

So, I spent the weekend out of town, visiting the in-laws for Easter. Usually when we go out of town (aka stay in a hotel), we find a reason to “have to” eat out, and that leads to “needing to” break away from a low carb way of eating. Well, despite my best efforts to have a bean and cheese burrito – and I think husband was going for arroz con pollo – we stuck it out! The way I saw it, we’d prepared some low carb alternatives for Easter dinner on Sunday, why eat carbs on Saturday and then be un-thrilled with the actual holiday dinner coming up?

 

All the low carb goodness that was necessary at the Easter dinner table:

 

 

Continue reading “Low Carb Easter”

School’s Out for…

Summer. Just for summer.

Okay, I’m taking the current week off from life in (excluding Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime video) to de-stress myself after finals and graduations and parties (yes parties are stressful, especially when you forgot to pick up gifts for anyone and remember when you’re half an hour away and already 15 minutes late), and migraines. Oy!

We have so much to talk about this summer though. Including, the scale free summer challenge, bacon (we’re always going to talk about bacon), baking bread from scratch, and my research paper that I’m going to share by popular request.

See ya on Monday when my lazy break ends.

🙂

Cast Iron Skillet Adventures

I’ve been waiting for my Nana to give me hers, which she got from her mother, who… actually, I don’t have a clue where Granny (my great-grandmother) got the thing from, the lady was born in like 1913, her dad probably made it or something! Anyway, the thing about passed down cookware is that you don’t really get it until that person… dies… so I’m patiently waiting for Nana to give me hers. *insert Chrissy Teigen face, you know the one*

In the meantime, husband apparently has been dying to have one since he was a boy (25ish), and put it on his Christmas list. Since my shopping was limited to whatever I could Prime to the house due to having my bicep put back on just prior to our cross country trip to California for a holiday tour of my extended family, and also just the day after I took my final exams (which was also a week before everyone else at school took them, but I digress).

I’m pretty sure husband is cheating on me with this cast iron. He named it Cheryl. He bathes it regularly, he gets nervous if anyone else gets near it. He gave it a permanent home on the stove top – even though he regularly throws my tea kettle in the sink or in some godforsaken cabinet somewhere because “it’s weird to just leave it on the stove all of the time”. Guys, it’s getting weird…

What’s awesome about it though, is I can get him to cook just about anything at any time by suggesting that I think it would taste better in the cast iron skillet. He won’t let me use it so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Let’s talk about what’s right with Cheryl though…
Her frying skills!

Behold… pork rind battered chicken strips!!!!

These delicious, delicate, crunchy, slightly sweet, slightly spicy wonders will take your life to a new level. If you are low carb, and haven’t had these yet, you’re in the dark, and you need to come to the light.

You can buy pork rind dust on Amazon or you can just make it yourself with any hard object, or your hand if you have the patience. A little egg as a binder, and season as you see fit. When I went to the store to get the pork rinds, they didn’t have any plain flavor left, which would have been ideal, but we ended up using the BBQ flavor (still zero carbs), and adding red pepper to the dust for what we thought was going to be a spicy BBQ flavor. The BBQ flavor was veeeeeeeeeeeery muted, but, I’m 100% convinced it was better than the plain would have been. I could talk about how good these were for the rest of the day, like, if I weren’t low carbing, I’d still want these to be part of my life. Technically this dinner had some zucchini fries with it, but they didn’t look good at all, even if they were delicious. I decided to spare you all the combination of crappy looking delicious food + my not-awesome camera skills.

What I Ate All Day

Breakfast
String cheese
Pepperoni slices

Lunch
Leftover taco-in-a-bowl

Dinner
Pork rind breaded chicken strips
Parmesan garlic zucchini fries

When In Doubt, Put It In A Bowl

One of my favorite things about low carb eating is that I constantly discover new ways to enjoy my favorite foods. I’m from Southern California – Orange County specifically, but my entire extended family is still in San Diego where my dad grew up, and I’m really a San Diegan at heart. Tacos are religion. In my family, it’s not abnormal to just eat tacos every single day of the week. Taco Tuesday is for amateurs.

But what’s a taco-loving girl to do without her taco shells?

Making taco shells out of cheese is always a good idea – and I do that frequently – but it’s sorta time consuming, and we can talk about that in the future. But… enter the bowl!

 

not a filter but it is a pretty dreamy meal so i don’t blame the camera for the hazy view!

 

Yup, just dump all your taco fixins in the bowl and enjoy. You can call it a burrito bowl if you want, but taco in a bowl makes me feel more at home. I added a little extra lettuce mix because we have really large bowls and it looked kinda sad before hand, also because I actually just love eating crunchy greens. The neat thing about this “recipe” is that you can make it whatever you want. I used ground beef, but you can try ground turkey or chicken, shredded chicken, chicken chunks, carnitas, etc. I also have some guac (also a staple in California), sour cream, cheddar and TABASCO. Y’all know how I feel about Tabasco sauce – it’s life!

Truth be told, I ate this for lunch a few days ago. Since that day I’ve been slammed with homework and haven’t had a chance to get here to post my meals. I was so busy I didn’t even eat dinner that night, not that I was terribly hungry anyway. I just had a light snack while I slaved away at my computer. This semester cannot end soon enough!

What I Ate All Day

Breakfast
2 ham and cheese egg cups

Lunch
Taco-in-a-bowl w/
Ground beef
Cheddar cheese
Homemade guacamole
Sour cream
Broccoli/kale/cabbage mix

Dinner
Beef jerky (Field Trip brand is the best!)

 

 

Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner

The title of this post is probably only funny to me and the people in my Perspectives on Nutrition class. It’s a great class where we focus on how food laws came to be – a lot of political hullabaloo – and  how different parts of the food system in the United States operates – mostly inefficiently – and why. We spent the better part of the last few weeks discussing Check Off Programs, which basically amount to advertising by all of the people who produce a certain product instead of just one company. It’s more interesting than I think I can make it sound here and now, but the beef slogan makes me laugh every time I think of it now. Getting a degree in nutrition will ruin your ideas about food – this is half good and half bad.

About dinner last night though… I was never really a big meat eater, and definitely not red meat. We didn’t eat red meat as kids, because my stepmom didn’t want to I guess (I should ask her why), and thus it sort of makes me nauseous to eat it. Since switching to an LCHF way of eating I’ve been eating a lot more cow though. In part because it makes me full for a long time, but also because there’s only so much chicken I can eat before I never want to chew food again. Did I mention I’m allergic to everything from the sea?

We had some leftover steaks in the fridge that needed to be cooked pronto. So my husband did my favorite thing ever – slathered them in butter and tossed them in the cast iron skillet to char. Listen, we can’t get into this here, but I do not like red meat unless it is cooked 150%. I know, you’re cringing. You want to tell me that I don’t know what I’m missing, or that it loses all of its flavor, or it’s too chewy when it’s “overcooked”. I promise you I have heard all of that at least a million times and DO. NOT. CARE. Please finish cooking my cow. Please. Feel free to cook your meat however YOU like it!

Drop a little bleu cheese crumble on top of your steak when they are just about finished cooking and let it get melty. You’ll never look at steak the same way again.

  buttered steak w/bleu cheese crumbles & broasted broccoli

What I Ate All Day

Breakfast
Skipped it!
(I do this a lot, we only eat when we’re hungry around here)

Lunch
Sliced salami
String cheese
Raw broccoli & cauliflower w/bleu cheese dip

Dinner
Butter fried steak w/melted bleu cheese
Broasted (roasted then broiled for a few secs to get it crunchy)
seasoned w/salt, pepper, and garlic powder

 

Buckle Up For Food Month

I’m calling this food month, even though that’s probably every month. There’s this project that I’m doing, and I have to track of everything I eat for 30 days. It is probably the most tedious thing anyone has ever thought of, but alas, here I am. I thought it might be fun to keep track here, and with pictures, instead of on some boring old piece of paper with columns and boxes. Maybe I’ll get some extra credit points?

I think I’ve mentioned before that I love to meal prep, and that, if I had the time, I would come to everyone’s house and meal prep for them. Actually, if the people are willing to pay me for my time (since the reason I don’t have the time is because I’m busy trying to make money to survive), I would gladly make that my full time job… (*note to self: draw up business plans for this later). I did a very small scale meal prep Sunday night mostly for meals eaten away from home.

Buckle up for a month full of food.

Continue reading “Buckle Up For Food Month”