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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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Burger King’s Low-Carb Whopper Review

Yesterday evening after work, I had dinner at Burger King on our military installation before going to the movies.  I had to eat something substantial, or I would’ve caved in to the seducing aroma of movie popcorn – of course, drenched in butter and a bit of popcorn salt on top.  In my opinion, that’s the ONLY way to REALLY enjoy popcorn.  Yet, it’s still a No-Go for me, as I can eat almost an entire bag on my own.  Can you say CARB-CITY?  I just don’t want to ruin the progress I’ve made in my health so far.

The Old Way: Since starting on Atkins, I’ve eaten at Burger King a few times for lunch.  Normally, I order a double whopper with cheese, leave off ketchup (and pickles – just because I don’t like them), and buy a bottle of water, since the German diet cokes are way too sweet of my taste.  If I must have some soda, I just grab a small bottle of American diet coke in the PX next door before I get  my lunch at the food court.   When I sit down to eat my burger, I just toss the bun to the side and eat the burger with a fork and knife.  I’ve gotten some odd looks here and there, but I ignore those… heck, I’d probably do a double-take, too, if I’d seen someone eat a burger with a fork & knife.

My Find – The LC Double Whopper: So, yesterday when I went to BK, the manager was working at the register.  What a great opportunity to ask about this low-carb burger they had advertised when I arrived in Germany a year ago.  “Can I help you?”, he asked.

“Yes, do you still have these low-carb burgers you were selling a few months ago?”

He punched a few buttons on his register. “Let me see if we still have it listed in here.  Ah, there it is!  Yes, I can still get that for you.”

“Yay! I want one, please!”

He punched some more buttons.  “Would you like this to be a double whopper with cheese?”

“Sure,” I answered, “no ketchup, no pickles.”

“No problem.”, he said. “It doesn’t come with mayo, as it gets messy, but I can give you a packet, if you like.”

“Sure.”

I paid for my burger and small bottle of water and patiently waited for my low-carb whopper.  I expected a little confusion from the kitchen area, since I’m probably the only person in the last 6 months who ordered one of those things.  Sure enough, a head poked out from behind the warmer.  “Dave, what’s a lc double whopper?”  So the manager gave the guys in the back a quick crash-course on how to put together my low-carb burger.

My number was called 3 minutes later and my lc whopper was presented in a little salad bowl with a lid.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I sat down and opened the lid.  At first glance it looked like a salad, but yes, I found the meat on the bottom as I poked my fork into the veggies.  I squirted some mayo on top and I was ready to eat.

Culinary Delight: The first thing I noticed was that it was a little bit difficult to cut, since it was in a rounded container, but I didn’t mind that too much, because it was presented very well and people don’t stare at you, since it looks like you’re eating a salad.  Loved the tasted, too!  You have your meat to fill you up, the crunch of the veggies, and the creaminess of the cheese and mayo.  Once I was done with my burger, I was pleasantly full and was able to go to the theater without being tempted to eat popcorn.  I didn’t even miss it while watching the movie.

Toss the Bun vs. LC Whopper: I think, I prefer getting the low-carb burger instead of performing surgery at the table on a normal whopper.  Maybe they have a flat plate next time instead of the bowl that I can eat out of… Hey, have it your way, right?

One final thought on BK fries: The funny thing is, I used to be a french fry addict, but I can leave them now – they don’t have the power they used to have over me.  Sure, I’d love to eat them, but sometimes, when I’m out with my family, I’ll sneak just one for the flavor off of their plate and while I’m sitting there chewing it, I realize, that they don’t really taste as good as I remembered them.  Weird…

 

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2010 in Low-Carb Diet, Reviews

 

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Low-Carb Fries – Best Substitute Yet!

One day a few weeks ago I was dying for some french fries.  Potatoes are out of the question, so I was looking online for some low-carb alternatives.

There are several veggies that work well:

  • Celeriac Français : Céleri-raveCelery Root (Celeriac): Those things look really ugly, like an off-white ball with squiggly things on the bottom side.  They are a pain to peel, but it’s well worth the effort.  Celery roots are really good when cut like shoestring fries and thrown into the Fry Daddy!  They don’t get as crisp as real fries, but somehow the flavor to me is better than the real thing.  I sprinkle them with some season salt when they’re done! YUMMMMY!!!

 

  • KohlrabiKohlrabi: Another veggie that I grew up with here in Germany.  I figured that kohlrabi is similar in texture to potatoes and the celery root, so I peeled one, cut it up, and fried it.  Those fries were okay but not as flavorful as the celery root.  In a pinch, these will do.  Kohlrabi is also very delicious when you eat it raw.  It makes an awesome snack and has almost half the amount of carbs than an apple.

 

 

  •  Jicama at a market in Taxco, MexicoJicamas: Couldn’t find any in Germany yet.  I’ll keep my eyes peeled, because the forums are buzzing with people raving about jicama fries.

 

 

 

 

 This is how I prepared my yummy fries:  

  • Heat up lard (or fat of choice) in deep-fryer
  • Peel and cut root vegetable into french fries.  (Shoe-string type fries work best)
  • I double-fry mine:  Deep fry for a few minutes until half-way done & put in a bowl until the rest of the fries are done, then fry again until they’re getting a little bit brown, but don’t let them burn.
  • When finished, put them in a bowl lined with a paper towel, to keep them from getting too soggy.  Sprinkle with Season Salt or whatever seasoning you like.  Serve fresh.

Although these french-fries are not quite as crispy as their regular counterparts, they do burst with flavor, which you can’t say about potato french fries.  When I make my fries, I usually make a batch of normal fries for my husband, but my teenagers and I always wipe out the celery root fries.

Have you tried making low-carb fries with another vegetable?  How did they turn out?  My goal is to find the “ultimate” low-carb french fries recipe, even though, the celery root version comes pretty darn close to be the winner.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2010 in Low-Carb Diet, Recipes

 

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