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Culture Shock – Primal Living in the USA

Whole Foods MarketAfter a 3 year tour in Bavaria, Germany, we finally set foot on U.S. ground again.  Since then, my mind has officially been blown with the low-carb opportunities that are available to me here in the States.

During our move, I have been off my primal plan, not only because I wouldn’t be able to eat many of my favorite German foods for a long time, but also, because I knew it would be extremely difficult to stay on track while living in hotels for an extended time, with only microwaves to cook with.  It was a conscious decision, yet my body did not thank me.

As soon as I went off program, I immediately started to feel puffy, sluggish and irritable, although, the crankiness could be attributed to all the stress of getting the house ready for the movers to come, selling the cars, and working until the last minute.  We’ve been living in hotels for 3 weeks until we moved into an extended stay place, where we actually have a small kitchen to make our own meals.  I never thought that I would ever get tired of eating in restaurants, but over the last 2 weeks, my body was screaming for real food.  Yes, the fresh waffles and bagels in the mornings at the other hotel were nice, but come lunch-time, I was a shaky, wobbly wreck… I hate when my bloodsugar drops like that and my addiction runs rampant.

Today, I made an effort to stay off of sugar and flour.  I didn’t have much suitable food in the fridge, but I made it through the day.  Not surprisingly at all, I felt calm and my head seemed clearer for the first time in weeks.  Then, while we were in town in the evening, we ate at a restaurant.  I had no problems with staying on plan.  I wanted something light and stuck to a Cobb salad, which left me comfortably full and satisfied. In retrospect, I easily could have been back on plan as soon as we arrived here, because most restaurants will work with their customers, but it just seemed too tempting to try to eat all these foods I thought that I missed out on in the last 3 years.  Again, that’s the addiction talking.

Culture shock really hit me when we walked into the Whole Foods Market for the first time in 6 years.  The assortment of primal foods in the store were overwhelming, and I didn’t buy anything other than some coconut hand creme for my psoriasis on my hands.  I did try some yummy salmon samples and a small cup of sports tea, while cruising the isles, but my head is still spinning, when I think about the massive inventory of foods they carry.  I made a mental note to do my homework before I shop there again (some of the food, I saw at our Commissary for much cheaper.)

Finally, now that we’re in Colorado, I want to explore the nearby farms and farmers markets for free-range eggs, grass-fed beef and local produce.  I can’t wait to get started with that.  I’m ready to let go of the junk!

Until next time,

Nickie

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Binging, Food Addiction, Low-Carb Diet

 

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Low-Carb Waffles (or Pancakes)

 

Brussels Waffle (known in the USA as Belgian W...

Brussels Waffle (known in the USA as Belgian Waffle) with Strawberries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hmmmm… pancakes, waffles… I miss all those foods, especially when my family wants them for breakfast on the weekends.  This is a very dangerous time for low-carbers, well, at least it is for me.

As I was browsing the web, I found this German low-carb forum.  I skimmed some of the topics and found a thread about low-carb pancakes and waffles.  Hoping that it was not just another recipe with protein powders and baking mixes, stuff I can’t get easily where I live, I clicked on it and found that the dough only has simple everyday ingredients in it.  That’s just what I needed!   In Germany, Mandelmehl (ground blanched almonds) is very common and can be found in little bags in the baking section.  But, should you have trouble finding it in your store, you can make it yourself, per George Stella, by grinding your own almonds in a blender or food processor).  Anyway, here’s the recipe:

LOW-CARB WAFFLES (or PANCAKES)

Yields about 5 Waffles

  • 2 medium eggs (I used large)
  • 100 g blanched almond flour
  • 1 tsp. Splenda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • a little water, heavy cream or soy milk (I used cream)
  • a little vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and slowly add liquid until it has the consistency of pancake dough.  Then cook as usual with butter in a pan for pancakes or in a waffle iron for waffles.

Carb counts vary based on liquid used.  Plus, I’m not getting too hung up on carb counts – I get too obsessive about those when I do – reminds me of the old Weight Watchers days when I had to count points.

Prep Experience:  I made the waffle version this morning.  It was actually really simple  to mix all the ingredients together.  The almond meal already comes in 100 g packets, Splenda is a staple in my kitchen, and so are eggs and heavy cream.  I added the dry ingredients first, which took half a minute, then added enough cream until I had the consistency right, not to thick, but not too thin so that it’ll run out of the waffle maker.  I was done in 2 minutes.  I put a bit of butter in each of the squares of the waffle maker and added a ladle full of dough in each square, closed the lid and waited for the steam to slow – I don’t trust the light in my old machine.  Oh, they smelled so delicious and looked just like real waffles.  I couldn’t wait to try them!

Culinary Bliss: Once the waffles were cooked I put them on a cooling rack, so they don’t get soggy, and helped myself to 2 squares.  Out of curiosity I broke off a small corner and nibbled on it cautiously.  Wow!  It tasted surprisingly like the real thing, sweet and bready, except for a tiny bit more of a crunch, as the almonds are a little grainier than normal flower.  The mouth-feel and the flavors were all there!  I melted a small bit of butter on top of my waffle and drizzled some sugar-free maple syrup on top.  Oh, I was in heaven!  And because of the almonds, these two squares were extremely filling.  I was fully expecting my blood sugar level to crash, as it would with real waffles, but 3 hours later, I had no issues at all.  Way to go!  This is definitely a keeper!!! (and I still have 3 waffles in the freezer for days I’m running late in the morning).

I think next time I make waffles, I go with the whipped cream and berries variation, just to step outside the box of eating it the same way.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in Low-Carb Diet, Recipes

 

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