Mama Always Said…

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……“Life is like a box o’ Protein Powders, you never know what you’re gonna’ get!” Ain’t that the truth.  I don’t know about you but I’ve tried several protein powders over the years trying to find a good one.  Maybe you’ve had better luck than I have but I’ve wasted my share of bucks on quite a number.  Protein powder is just one of the important components of my low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  Now maybe you’re a purist and don’t touch the stuff and that’s fine.  But I use it in some low-carb baked goods and of course ya’ gots to have protein powder to make a protein shake!

I was so glad to find a nice thorough review of Nature’s Best Perfect Isopure Protein Powder this morning from St. Louis Low-Carb Examiner, Amy Dungan.  Amy is a long-time successful low-carber that has her own blog, Healthy Low Carb Living.  Amy gives all the details of Nature’s Best Perfect Isopure including flavors, ingredients and nutritional info, so I won’t be repeating that here.

What I need are the trusted opinions and reviews of people like Amy.  The real-world evaluation of taste, texture, flavor, mix-ability and last but not least, the condition it leaves your gut in!  Try and get all those right in a protein powder….nearly impossible.  According to Amy, Nature’s Best Perfect Isopure tastes great, mixes easily with no nasty-gritty lumps, and get this….it don’t leave you feeling like you’ve got a demon in your gut who needs some serious deliverance!  I’ve tried the cheap powders and just like most of you have ended up throwing most of them away.  So, it wasn’t a good buy after all.  Some of them it was the taste that got me…or lack thereof.  Some of them left more lumps it was like trying to take a dose of Metamucil.  And worst of all was the stomach upset…to put it politely.  Bloating, gas, diarrhea…you know the drill!

Let’s all face it, most of the time you’re gonna’ have to pay to ride.  So, for a good quality protein powder you’re gonna’ have to lay out a few bucks.  Now, Nature’s Best Isopure Protein Powder is by no means one of the most expensive protein powders out there, but it’s certainly not in the bargain basement either.  Have I tried it?  No, not yet.  But you can bet your sweet bippy I’ll be trying it.  Thing was, I’d seen it in the stores and even read about it online, but didn’t want to drop another fifty bucks on another protein powder to fill up my trash can.  But I’ve just added Nature’s Best Isopure Protein Powder to my shopping list for when I need more protein powder.  So, check out Amy’s review and see what you think.

There Really is Life Without Donuts

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

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So, You Couldn’t Find Me In the Obituaries…

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That’s because I’m still alive and kickin’.  For those of you who are still following me on your blog reader, I apologize that I’ve so neglected my bloggin’.  So, what’s the story you ask?  It’s been seven long months since I’ve posted an update, so I’ll try to bring you up to speed on what’s been going on in my low-carb world.  Actually, I’m gonna’ try to give you the Reader’s Digest version (I’m bad about being way too long winded at times….OK, most of the time).

I can sum up the last seven months in one word.  Struggle.  Not a struggle losing weight, but a struggle staying “on-plan”.  When I’m “on-plan” I can lose weight.  On July 1st of this year I just passed my 3 year low-carb anniversary.  The first two years I stayed “on-plan” really well, but the past year has been quite the challenge.  I can’t nail down any one particular cause, however, I feel like there have been several contributing factors.  Some of which I can change and some of which I may not be able to change.

I lost 65 pounds total doing low-carb in the first year and a half or so.  No, I haven’t gained it all back.  I have however put back on about 25 pounds of it.  And now I’m starting over, again!  I’m being totally open, transparent and honest here folks.  I’ve had multiple restarts over the past seven months.  The good news is I’ve not given up and I’m still trying to make low-carb a lifestyle.  As a matter of fact, I feel like my nutritional thinking has indeed improved since the low-carb knowledge I’ve gained always comes to mind with every food decision I make.  Even though I’ve made some poor eating decisions I still know low-carb works for me…when I work it!

Van Crouch once said, “You’re not finished when you’re defeated…you’re finished when you quit!”  I’ve thought of that so many times.  The good news is, I’ve not quit.  I’m getting back up and trying it again.  I cannot blame my temporary defeat on anyone but myself.  I hate the blame game.  I’m once again taking the information I’ve armed myself with over the past three years and reinforcing my determination to succeed at the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.

Why am I telling y’all all this?  Why am I spilling my guts about it to the world?  I feel like it helps me to write about it, but I feel like it helps some of y’all who are also struggling with staying “on-plan”.  I never want to portray myself as the poster child for low-carb weight loss.  We all need to realize we’re all human and all subject to the same weaknesses and temptations.  So, I’ll be telling you more and talking to you about the whole subject of “struggling”.  Like I said, I don’t want to wear you out with a long winded post.  Matter of fact, I think I would be better off writing shorter posts more often than trying to write a novel.  Feel free to leave your comments and I’ll write again soon.

There Really Is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Yogurt….It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore!

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Count me in as a yogurt fan-boy!  I’ve always loved the stuff but after starting the low-carb nutritional lifestyle I saw that most of it contained too many carbs to eat very often.  And out there in the low-carb community there’s as many opinions as there are low-carbers as to whether yogurt is a permitted food.  The disagreement comes about because the label on most whole fat unsweetened yogurts shows 11 carbs per cup, but some say that’s not really the ECC (Effective Carb Count) because the active bacteria cultures in yogurt convert the lactose (milk sugar) into lactic acid and therefore should not be taken into account in the nutritional analysis.

Well, much to my pleasure award winning cookbook author Jennifer Eloff posted an article entitled ‘Include Yogurt on Your Low-Carb Diet’ this morning on her excellent Low-Carbing and General Health News blog.  She does a fantastic job of debunking the yogurt myth and giving us the facts from the scientific studies.  I’m not going to requote it all here, so be sure to click on the link and check it out for yourself.  It’s a very informative and worthwhile read!

Dairy is one of those things I love and wanted to somehow make it a part of my low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  Now of course milk can’t be a part of it since it has so much lactose but that’s OK, there are other dairy products which fit in very well.  Jennifer even talks about hard cheese being a healthy product…and I love me some seriously sharp cheddar.  I also occasionally eat some cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, cream cheese and kefir.  Lots of choices out there.  My dairy milk substitutes are almond milk or coconut milk.

Now back to the yogurt story.  Just be sure you eat the whole-fat plain yogurt if you’re low-carbing.  Sounds uninteresting and blah, you say.  Use some Splenda, stevia or one of the other many natural sweetener blends out there today to sweeten it to your taste.  Flavors….you can use one of the myriad of wonderful flavors of sugar-free syrups made by DaVinci or Torani.  Or add some berries, fresh or frozen, another great low-carb value.  Or some flax-meal or slivered almonds.  Or a little no-sugar-added coconut.  Lots of choices out there.

And one of my favorite yogurts is Greek yogurt.  It’s much thicker, richer and creamier….heavenly it is!  Try it sometime and you’ll see what I mean.  And yogurt is a great addition to low-carb protein shakes too.  Well, that’s enough of my raves about the wonders of yogurt.  Let me know what your favorite way to eat yogurt is.  I look forward to hearing from y’all!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Starting Over: Week 1 Update

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“The second day of a diet is always the easiest…because you’re off of it by then!”

Don’t we all know those words all too well?  Most of us who struggle with our weight have been on more diets than we can recount and lost enough pounds that we should be totally gone from the planet by now.  Well, the good news is that I whizzed past day two like it never existed when I restarted my low-carb nutritional lifestyle again.  So I thought I’d post an update after completing the first week.

What I’ve typically found is that if I can eat clean for three days straight it gives me the momentum to keep on going.  All us dieters have all have multiple starts and restarts and that’s not necessarily a bad thing and I’ll tell you why just a little later.  Some restarts lasted and some bit the dust so quick it was pathetic.  I’ve found that the times I’ve started or restarted a diet and been successful at it, I’ve had a really solid motivational factor behind it.  In July ’07  I got serious about the low-carb nutritional lifestyle because…I was tired of hurting!  I knew I needed to drop some pounds but that hadn’t been enough to motivate me.  It was when my feet and ankles hurt so bad I could hardly bear to walk that I said, “enough is enough”.  Pain can indeed be a great motivator!  So I stuck with low-carb until I dropped 60 pounds.

But as I stated in an earlier post the last six to nine months have been a struggle for me to stay on plan.  You know the drill.  You begin to allow a bite or two of things that aren’t really that bad, then you allow more and more off-plan foods until you begin to put a few pounds back on.  Recently I could feel the pain start to return to my feet and ankles so once again I decided enough was enough!  And so I cleaned up my act and started induction all over one more time.  I’ve had several false-starts in the last nine months but I feel really good about this one.

So, how am I doing with my first week behind me?  I’m glad you asked!  I had a very, very good first week back on plan.  I’ve eaten very clean.  Induction foods.  And I was handsomely rewarded for it when I stepped on the scale this past Sunday morning.  Down 6 pounds in the first seven days!  Now as everyone knows that rate of weight loss can’t be sustained for the long term, but it’s a great motivator to keep on the straight and narrow right on into week two.  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

What’s Happened to The Former Donut Junkie?

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Well, I know that’s a question many of you have been asking, so I thought “I’ve kept these poor folks in suspense long enough.”  OK….it’s really way too long!  I just realized it’s been nearly nine months since I’ve updated my blog.  That’s not a good thing for a blogger since most folks give up on ya’ after such an eternity of being MIA.  I know most of you are wondering if I’m still doing low-carb and even more of you are wondering if I’m still The Former Donut Junkie indeed.  Or have I returned to my old way of life, “fallen off the wagon” as some may say?  Uh…to be truthful there’s not an easy yes or no answer to those questions so I plan to take some time and tell ya’ what life has been like the past nine months or so.

No, I’m not hangin’ out at donut shops like I once did in my previous carb-overloaded life.  And I’m still working at the low-carb lifestyle which I believe so much in and worked so well for me.  So look for a post or two real soon with all the gory details.

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Why Would I Ever Go Off Low-Carb?

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Well, I’d go off low-carb for the same reason you and a ton of other people do.  And the fact is I’ve done it a couple of times in my 18 months of low-carbing.  Now before you go thinkin’ I’ve fallen off the wagon and turned anti-LC, you can forget it!  I’m a diehard LC adherent but just like you I get some thought out of nowhere one day and decide to try “just one bite” of something that is “off-plan”.  You know all too well what I’m talking about, but neither of us understand the reasoning behind such impulsive, whirlwind like decisions.  Problem is, we never stop with “just one bite”!  We end up staying with the “off-plan” foods much longer than we planned and find ourselves trying to pull ourself out of our self-induced departure.  But, I digress, for I don’t have the answer why us humans err, for if I did I’d be rich and famous….but I’m not….so there you go!

Anyhoo, I found this wonderful blog post by low-carb author, doctor and blogger Dr. Michael Eades entitled, “Low-Carb Battles in Your Brain,” when I got up this morning.  It is an outstanding piece, as is always the case with Dr. Eades and I highly recommend you click over there and read it, or at least bookmark it so you can read it when you have more time.  I won’t steal his thunder, but I just knew I didn’t want any of my LC friends to miss out on this outstanding piece that gives us a little better insight into the science behind falling off the wagon!  Enjoy!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Diet Etiquette — Part 2 — I’m Hearing Voices, and I Think It’s My Food!

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I recently started to blog about what I call “Diet Etiquette”, a subject very rarely ever discussed.  I got derailed with my work load and just now got back to blogging so here’s my second part to this interesting subject.  And yeah, this could easily be subtitled, “How To Do Low-Carb Without Becoming a Social Outcast.”  Because that’s what ‘diet etiquette’ is all about.

No matter what the occsion for getting people together, you can bet food is nearly always going to be a big part of the event.  However, when you think about it, it’s not really about celebrating the food…it’s about celebrating friends and family.  So don’t make such a big deal out of the food in the future, because when you do the people you’re around will make a big deal out of you!  Whining and complaining about the food, for any reason, will not only draw attention to you, it will automatically get you labeled a party-pooper, a kill-joy, a fanatic or even worse.  Focus on having fun with your friends and family and I guarantee you’ll have tons more fun than if you focus on the food alone.

Remember, having our focus on food is what caused us to gain our excess pounds to begin with.  Just think about all the times you were hard pressed to attentively listen to someone’s conversation with you simply because you could not break your focus and fascination with the food long enough to really and truly hear what they were saying to you.  Food cannot be the centerpiece of any serious, lasting relationship, be it friends, family or even co-workers.

It’s amazing what we can discover about others, as well as the heights a relationship can reach when we learn to look straight into the eyes of the person we are talking to instead of listening to the food that is talking to us.  And you thought low-carb was only a weight loss diet?  Hardly!  Low-carb done right will also improve your relationships and social life.

Diet Etiquette — Part 1 — Introduction

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

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