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Thanks, guys! Yes, I'm pretty motivated so learned a lot last time that I'm putting to good use this time without having to go back to the (rather useless) nutritionist (at least the knowledge wasn't wasted!!). If only I could keep up the motivation to keep to this kind of diet when not pregnant!!! It's ridiculously effective for my body type, but alas, I can't keep this strict when I don't have the proper motivation. There are certain recipes/approaches that have stuck with me afterwards, though, like roasting All The Vegetables and these mini turkey garden loaves (when I'm diabetic I mess with the bread crumbs and sugar proportions, and when I'm not I make them as is).

Thanks for all your suggestions! I think they'll all make it into my rotations. The cucumber salad prompt, in particular, is great because I've always meant to learn a good Chinese cucumber salad (a la the A&J spicy garlic cucumber dish) and now is an excellent time to try it! Yes, I eat lots of avocados, mostly with my  morning hard-boiled eggs as a sort of egg salad (v. easy to take to work several days' worth at a time), and could absolutely incorporate them in other meals. 

We made fajitas the other night, with some grilled marinated steak; a sautéed vegetable medley of mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini; cheese quesadillas; salsa; and guacamole. We and our guests all loved it (I ate 1/4 quesadilla so wasn't totally deprived), so that will definitely be gracing our table again. Because we (used to) eat tacos out fairly often, we almost never think about making Mexican food at home and this was a good reminder that it's tasty, easy to make, and great for a crowd with fussy palates (in this case kiddos, gluten-free, diabetic, and pregnant). 

A bit back, we went out to all-you-can-eat KBBQ for dinner, and that was decadent without a sense of deprivation. MEAT! and pickles and salad mostly, with a little bit of jap chae on the side. Nothing to complain about there!!

 

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I've tried quite a few low-carb/sugar desserts lately, and thought I would post on my impressions:

Halo Top - too expensive for its icy texture and uninteresting add-in crunchy bits - pass.

Breyer's CarbSmart Vanilla & Almond bars - not bad at all. They aren't super creamy but aren't icy at all and don't have much of an fake sugar aftertaste. I like the portion size because you can eat the whole bad so won't feel deprived. I keep buying these.

No sugar added Popsicles - have a bit of a fake sugar aftertaste but decent when you're craving an icy fruity treat.

Dreyer's slow-churned no sugar added ice cream - terribly chemical ingredient list but decently creamy without a fake sugar aftertaste so yay science??!! Available at regular grocery stores and the same price as the regular ice cream. Still can't eat a lot in a sitting if you're carefully counting carbs but you can have more. This will probably be my go-to until I can have real ice cream again!

***

Also made a red curry chicken soup (basically my regular red curry with a lot more broth and even more vegetables), which was delicious and low carb but doesn't keep well, because the vegetables turn all mushy :(

 

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Oh my goodness, you guys, this is probably TMI and maybe everyone else already knows, but as a PSA, don't eat too much food made with fake sugar!! After chalking up a few days of misery to resurgent pregnancy symptoms, it turns out that lots of the ingredients in sugar-free stuff - e.g., sucralose, xylitol, sorbitol - work precisely because they can't be digested, which can lead to an uncomfortable GI system, especially if you eating a significant quantity of these ingredients. Everything in moderation or carefully controlled portions is still the rule of the day - there are no tradeoff-free shortcuts to eating sweets!!!! (Unless there is and then please tell me!!!)

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11 hours ago, weezy said:

Sorry for your distress.

The sugar-free issue has come up in Amazon reviews:  https://www.amazon.com/Haribo-Sugar-Free-Gummy-Bears/dp/B008JELLCA

Don't read the reviews for those with a mouth full of liquid.  I sent 5lb of an off-brand (same results if eaten in quantity) when the occupiers of the Malheur wildlife refuge asked for snacks.  Following the arrests, I contacted the local food bank to warn them to beware of any sugar free items that might be donated by that group.  That was an interesting exchange, but the food bank rep was gracious about it.  

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13 hours ago, PollyG said:

Don't read the reviews for those with a mouth full of liquid.  I sent 5lb of an off-brand (same results if eaten in quantity) when the occupiers of the Malheur wildlife refuge asked for snacks.  Following the arrests, I contacted the local food bank to warn them to beware of any sugar free items that might be donated by that group.  That was an interesting exchange, but the food bank rep was gracious about it.  

? and also ? because I love Haribo Bears so this is a great and useful warning!!!

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30 minutes ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

Lady Kibbee and I have been on a phở bò binge on these sub-freezing days of late, and in keeping with our desire to limit carb intake, we order the large bowl combo no. 1, with meatballs too, but we don't bother with the noodles.

You may want to ask them for no noodles, as the starch gets leached out into the broth, thickening it, but adding carbs.

I also remain unconvinced that Vietnamese meatballs are 100% meat. :mellow:

Know what's awesome for filling up, and staying full, on a low-carb diet? Choking down some steamed Brussels sprouts with soy sauce, alongside whatever protein you're having (they have carbs, but not much, and the fiber compensates (sort of)) - they keep me full for hours: I view them as "temporary bariatric surgery."

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On 1/7/2018 at 3:14 PM, DonRocks said:

I also remain unconvinced that Vietnamese meatballs are 100% meat. :mellow:

Funny you think that, I always thought the same until I saw a friend of mine make them. It's a combination of ground meat and cornstarch ground in the food processor until a paste. From there dropped to cook into boiling water to obtain that "spongy/springy" texture 

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Just came across and read through this thread, which is of great interest to me as I've been doing the low carb thing since last Spring.  So far, knock on wood, it's been a great success from a weight control perspective and I'm going to try to stick with it.

One concept that I've found really important that I don't see mentioned here is that of "net carbs" -- take the grams of total carbs and subtract the grams of fiber and you have the grams of net carbs.  I'm not even going to attempt the science behind it but apparently this is the number that matters (in many cases at least), since fiber isn't digested.  That's why many vegetables that are high in carbs and fiber are actually ok for many low carb diets.  

The toughest thing for me on a low carb diet is finding good substitutes for *crunchy* textures if you can believe it.  Haven't found those low carb crackers yet.  So yes, you'll find yourself making sandwiches substituting cucumbers for bread, but that gets pretty unsatisfying pretty fast.

Recently I've been making a lot of creamed vegetable soups which are low (net) carb and really satisfying - two most recent examples being creamed cauliflower, and broccoli and cheddar soups.   Looking forward to reading more recipes here, but if you google keto recipes you'll find lots of stuff out there.

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I've found that I like using cabbage as a stand-in for pastas in many dishes.  A little Italian sausage with a good marinara and thinly sliced green or white cabbage is a way to scratch the red-sauce itch.  And a stroganoff using napa cabbage, keeping the mushroom forward and dialing back on the sour cream, is also satisfying.

I really don't bother with trying to find a cracker/bread substitute.  II'm always disappointed.  I do like foods that require some assembly to keep me focused off the lack of bread -- lettuce cups, peel-and-eat shrimp are a couple of high involvement meals.  A few nuts sprinkled on top of stuff for a bit of crunch helps.  

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Any suggestions on what to pair with a chicken/lamb curry if you're trying to go low carb (in lieu of basmati or naan)? Texture of brown rice sort of bugs me - maybe just cook it longer? Cous cous? Never tried that. What else?

 

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3 hours ago, Simul Parikh said:

Any suggestions on what to pair with a chicken/lamb curry if you're trying to go low carb (in lieu of basmati or naan)? Texture of brown rice sort of bugs me - maybe just cook it longer? Cous cous? Never tried that. What else?

Couscous is basically just pasta, so pretty carby.  My favorite is quinoa.  Make sure and rinse it well before cooking.  I oscillate between cooking like rice with a 2:1 liquid:quinoa ratio, and cooking like pasta (lots of water until done, drained and spread to cool on a cookie sheet).  Definitely adds more flavor to cook in broth (I like using Better Than Bouillon vegetable base or roast chicken base).

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3 hours ago, Simul Parikh said:

Any suggestions on what to pair with a chicken/lamb curry if you're trying to go low carb (in lieu of basmati or naan)? Texture of brown rice sort of bugs me - maybe just cook it longer? Cous cous? Never tried that. What else?

 

Trader Joes Cauliflower rice, sautéed for about 10 minutes comes the closest for very low carb.  I tried the keto diet once - for about two months to support a certain someone who was put on it - and that was a mainstay, as was cauliflower mash.  

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Skipped the cauli rice, made a mash and then did a shephard's pie. Turned our really good! That mash with cream/butter tastes very close to actual potatoes... 

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Good Earth sweet and spicy tea is my new obsession and a great weapon when the cravings for a sweet drink hit. I've only tried the orange caffeine-free kind so far (it has a Rooibos base), though there are a few flavors in this line. I have no idea how the blend does it but, much like a perfectly balanced long island iced tea, this stuff alchemizes into a genuinely sweet taste to the tongue without any artificial flavors or calories, so doesn't need any additional sweetening. I'm not quite sure how they do it, but here is the ingredient list:

organic Rooibos, organic chicory root, organic cinnamon, organic rosehip, organic honeybush, natural flavor, organic lemongrass, organic chamomile, organic peppermint, organic ginger root, organic orange oil, organic orange peel

Other than the "natural flavors," I can't see anything suspicious in there. A HuffPo blogger looked into the natural flavors thing a few years ago, but the report back from the company doesn't seem too damning to me.

I got some for my diabetic grandma, as she was greatly impressed by the naturally sweet and warming flavor (and she is usually only into expensive Chinese teas).  It tastes amazing hot, warm, or cold. I really hope it doesn't turn out to be bad for me!!! I can get it pretty much anywhere - Vons (Safeway), Sprouts, and I actually first tried it while it was on demo at Costco, though I haven't seen it there since. 

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On 2/28/2017 at 12:26 PM, Sundae in the Park said:

Also made a red curry chicken soup (basically my regular red curry with a lot more broth and even more vegetables), which was delicious and low carb but doesn't keep well, because the vegetables turn all mushy :(

Learned from myself and made a much better, even lower-carb red curry soup.  Added a bunch of ginger and lime juice to the red curry paste, fish sauce, and scallions, making it a low-rent tom yum profile, and used only thinly sliced chicken and mushrooms, which don't get mushy.  Great for clearing the sinuses and those who don't want to be low-carb can always add noodles or rice. 

Enlightened ice cream is...not bad at all, especially if you let it warm up a bit, as it says prominently on the packaging. I only tried the mint chocolate chip flavor, and it has an appealingly mild minty flavor with a not-too-chalky texture (especially once it melts it's quite creamy, considering) or alcohol sugar taste.  Probably the best (by a little bit) of the low-sugar/low-carb ice creams I've tasted.  

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Pesto chicken salad (just Costco pesto, yogurt, and poached chicken) is a nice change-up from my (only) slightly more complicated curried chicken salad and actually makes a pile of leaves taste decent.  It's very easy to make a batch and take to work for several lunches. I'm also back on my avocado-egg salad (just boiled eggs mashed with some avocado, salt, and pepper) for breakfast.  Also simple to make in batches and bring to work.  Yep, my coworkers just love me 😆

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I found Vox's recent treatise on the importance of various dietary fibers to be interesting and informative, particularly in light of certain approaches to low-carb diets, which they reference but mostly refrain from bashing generally.  The newer (less woo-woo) research on gut health has been eye-opening and seems to be leading us back to a more old-fashioned, common sense approach to nutrition, where moderation and lots of whole foods, with emphasis on fiber-filled plant foods, promote overall health and wellness. It's really tempting and easy (and often very tasty) to concentrate on meats and fats to maintain blood sugar control, but alas, we are not simply blood-sugar machines.  So this article was a great reminder that avocados, beans, nuts, seeds, yogurt, pickles, BROWN rice, mushrooms, and All of the Cruciferous and Leafy Veg, not just eggs, cheese, and bacon (duh but 😂) need to be the building blocks of my (YMMV!!!) healthier, lower-carb diet.

One spot of good news on the fiber front - dark chocolate has some. Yay!

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