Chocolate Cream Pie, no crust, low carb

My husband wanted a chocolate cream pie, but didn’t want to ruin his low carb diet in order to eat it.  This pie has 5 carbs and about 300 calories (almost completely from fat). I served this for Easter and at a gathering with some friends and it was a hit. I use the Diet Swiss Miss instead of the No Sugar Added one because it is lower in carbs.

1/2 c boiling water

4 packets of Diet Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix

1 packet knox gelatin

1/8 c Splenda

1 c heavy whipping cream

2 packages Philadelphia Cream cheese

Step 1: Mix 1/2 c boiling water and 1 packet knox gelatin for 5 min, add 4 packets of Diet Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix and 1/8 c splenda. Put in fridge for about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream until firm.

Step 3: Whip 2 packages (16 oz) cream cheese.

Step 4: Add chocolate mix to cream cheese slowly and mix thoroughly,

Step 5: Fold in whipped cream.

Step 6: Put in an 8 or 9 in pie pan. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

 

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Vegetable Dip

Easter is coming up, and for me that presented a dilemma.  In my family, my mother-in-law cooks holiday meals. She will bend over backwards to accommodate everyone’s likes and dislikes, but meals that are as low carb as I need them to be does not work well. After talking to my nutritionist, we came up with a plan.  I’ll still skip the double-stuffed baked potato, rolls and corn, and I’m bringing a low carb chocolate cheesecake for the family to eat for dessert. (If the chocolate cheesecake turns out, I’ll share it with you.)  Since my mother-in-law usually makes a large veggie tray geared toward me, we are going to increase my carb intake for the day to allow for more vegetables than I normally eat. Nothing crazy and I’ll be very careful for the rest of the meals, so it will probably end up being 25-30 g of carbs instead of 15-20.  However, I’ll have a ketogenic dip for the vegetables to increase my fat. The dip will have about 1 carb.  My meal will consist of the ham, roast and vegetables, along with the dip.  A couple hours later, we’ll eat the cheesecake.  This way I can join the family in the meal and what I eat will seem pretty normal to the rest of the family.  For the dip I just mixed:

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon MCT oil

2/3 teaspoon lemon juice

sprinkle of dill weed

sprinkle of mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic (1 clove)

I’ve made the  decision that I’m willing to have a couple seizures if it means that I can enjoy the times we get together with the whole family.  By keeping the total carbs for the day at 25-30, I won’t be going too far above the range.  If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to reassess for Mother’s Day.  Have a great Easter! The celebration of Jesus’ resurrection is a special time for our family now. For ten years my husband pastored a church in a different town from his family, so we always spent the time with our church family. Now that he pastors a church in the city his parents live, we can all go to church together then head home for a large meal.  (This will be the first year that my mother-in-law won’t be giving my husband and I an Easter basket, something she is quite saddened by.)

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Low Carb Pizza Hamburgers

This meal either needs to have cream with it, avocado, or oil to make the ratio even out a little.  I start with premade sirloin 1/ lb hamburger patties (330 calories, 210 from fat, 0 carb).  I add 1/8th c tomato sauce (~1.25 net carb in Contadina brand). This is topped with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and oregano to taste, I then put 1 T shredded parmesan cheese on top of the spices (20 calories, 10 from fat, 0.2 net carb). On top of that, I put approximately 1.5 oz of mozzarella cheese (120 fat calories, 75 from fat, 0.9 net carb).  Then I add 8 slices of pepperoni to each “pizza”.  These certainly aren’t quite high enough in fat, but at 2.35 net carbs each, they work well in a dinner that your family will eat. Bake at 325 for  45 minutes.

hamburger patties

tomato sauce

shredded Parmesan

mozzarella

pepperoni

salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and oregano

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Quick Snacks the High Fat, Low Carb Way

If you have to eat six times a day, you probably do not want to cook at each of those meals.  There are easy ways to get your calories and fat content in without spending much time in the kitchen.  Some of the things I always keep around are the low-carb vegetable flax bread, low-carb crustless cheesecake, pepperoni, cheese, walnuts, avocado, heavy whipping cream and cooked bacon, along with an assortment of low-carb vegetables. My attempt is to always get in 5-6 portions of vegetables a day, so I stick with the lowest carb ones, usually broccoli, asparagus, radishes, lettuce, zucchini, spinach, mini cucumbers and green olives.  Pepperoni and cheese with a vegetable makes a great snack, as does bread and bacon.

A fourth cup of cream adds 1.6 carbs, but it also adds 200 calories, almost completely from fat so it can be added to any meal that is off on its ratio.  A fourth cup of walnuts is also high in fat and contributes 190 calories (160 from fat) and 2 carbs.  Avocado pairs with most things and has about 110 calories with 11 g fat and 1.3 g carbs for ½ of one.  Since the bread has a high ratio, as does the cheesecake, I often use them as the base of a meal (or if I’m in a hurry, just eat those).

I usually cook about three meals a day, and throw together snacks out of these items for the other three meals. Once a week I make the cheesecake, and every two weeks or so I make the bread. Every three to four days I make up 3 lbs of bacon.  Do these things on days that I’m not too busy helps make the busier days easier to manage.

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Progress at 75 Days

Yesterday marked 75 days on the the Modified Ketogenic (Atkins) Diet for seizures.  I’ve gone from 12-20 (usually on the higher end) a month to 7-8. Day 74 was my first appointment with the neurologist since he approved the diet.  He was so happy with my progress that he is going to recommend it to some of his other patients that aren’t responding to treatment.  We were out of treatment options for me unless we resorted to brain surgery, which I’m not willing to consider.  Six months ago we tried raising two of my three seizure medications, even though my doses were already pretty high, but that failed miserably. My seizures stayed the same, and I was a zombie. So three months ago we put the levels back to where they were and discussed the dietary option. Since it is a fairly new thing for adults, my neurologist didn’t have any patients on the diet, but he felt it was a good option to try. I do have the Vagus Nerve Stimulator (a wonderful invention that helps a lot), but I’m at nearly the highest setting, so with having failed so many seizure drugs, I’m the perfect candidate for this diet. Also, I’m capable of sticking to a regimented system, which helps.   

My primary care doctor still isn’t happy that I’m doing the diet, but he doesn’t seem to understand it. He hears Atkins and thinks weight-loss, which would be a problem since I tend to be underweight. In fact, I’ve gained 5-10 lbs. intentionally since I started the diet by keeping the calories very high (for me).  

So what have the difficult parts of the diet been? The hardest is eating so often. The hypoglycemic dips caused the nutritionist to have to redo my diet into six meals a day.  Eating 5-6 times a day fixed the problem, but prior to that I was shaking and having headaches. The second is eating fat in general. I grew up in a vegetarian home where fat was taboo (we baked with applesauce instead of oil).  Having a husband that grew up on fried food for the last 14 years helped me learn to eat some fatty food, but at first this diet was very, very difficult for me.  The third most difficult part is dinners with extended family or the church.  They think I’m starving because when you eat 6 times a day, each meal is smaller and it can upset some people that I can’t eat the same things they can. At Valentine’s Day the organizers of the church banquet ordered steak and broccoli from a nearby chinese food restaurant specifically because they figured I could eat that. Unfortunately, the sauce put it out of my reach.  So, I at one piece of the steak and broccoli so I could tell them how good it was and had a large salad w/ avocado and oil on it (that I ate with chop sticks). Similarly, my mother-in-law made the family a meal using the Atkin’s book as a guide, but there were too many low-carb foods and I ended up consuming too much of my daily allotment in one meal.  It really is a lot easier when I just take my own food, which is what I did the next time we got together.  The cheesecake has actually been an excellent thing to add to my diet because I can share that with other people and they tend to like it.

The easiest parts of the diet at this point is figuring out what I can eat. I’ve memorized the carb counts on the foods I eat most frequently, and I stick to simple as much as possible.  By making up my “bread” in advance, I have a simple, dense food that I can eat with a cheese stick and some bacon or scrambled eggs/cream. The cheesecake ends up being one of my meals each day.  I’ve also found dinners to be far easier than I expected when I started the diet. Prior to the diet I would choose a source of meat, potatoes, bread and a couple vegetables for each meal.  Now I do the same except the bread, and I skip the potatoes. I make sure to make my son carrots and corn some of the time so he doesn’t feel like he’s missing out.

It has been absolutely worth it. I haven’t had a serious injury in a while now, and while I’m still having tonic seizures (these are the ones we count) and daily absence seizures, I haven’t had a tonic-clonic since I started the diet. Who would have thought that something as simple as cutting out carbs and increasing fat dramatically could help where so many other treatments have failed?

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Real Dark Chocolate

The best product I have found so far to satisfy my chocolate cravings without adding too many carbs or requiring making it myself is Ghiradelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie 86% cocoa. One square has 2.5 carbs, which is acceptable for a treat, and there are no sugar alcohols to account for like many of the “sugar free” products. It is also high in fat at 6.25 g fat, 0.75 g protein, and 2.5 net carbs (62.5 calories). Just remember to keep it to one square and this makes the perfect addition to a low carb diet. If you are doing MAD, check with your nutritionist first because there is a small amount of simple sugar in it. 

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Rosemary Chicken and Vegetables

I try to rotate dinners between chicken, steak and hamburger meals.  Chicken is the hardest to make flavorful, but I try to aim for variety in seasonings as much as I can. This Rosemary chicken, broccoli and asparagus meal has Fat: 37.63, Protein: 37.88, Carbohydrate: 3.49, Calories: 504, Ratio: 0.91:1 (this is slightly off because I don’t count the olive oil the chicken is cooked in). I use the mayonnaise as a dip for the broccoli to increase the fat content. Your ratio would vary somewhat based on what vegetables you chose. The main reason the ratio on this meal is off is that the protein level is higher. I try to keep the protein levels lower in my meals earlier in the day knowing I tend to eat more meat at dinner.

 

8 pieces (112 g per 4 oz serving) of Tyson chicken breast tenderloins

Tome’s Rosemary Garlic seasoning, salt

1/3 c olive oil (this adds fat, but I don’t count it in my calculation since I don’t know how much)

1/3 c water

1/8 c apple cider vinegar

 

Arrange the frozen chicken in baking dish.

Add olive oil, water and apple cider vinegar.

Sprinkle rosemary garlic seasoning and salt on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

 

½ (20 g) broccoli

2 T (26 g) mayonnaise

6 spears (107 g) asparagus

1 T (14 g) coconut oil

I eat raw broccoli with mayonnaise. For the family, I steam theirs in the microwave for a couple minutes and add cheese. If you can’t stand mayonnaise, butter works well too.

I sauté the asparagus in coconut oil, then pour the coconut oil over it for added fat calories. Olive oil would work too. Just remember that coconut oil can burn so you want to cook on medium heat.

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