Monthly Archives: May 2016

{ blondie bars }

Memorial Day weekend is almost upon us, and with all of the family gatherings happening, I thought I would test out another recipe to share at a family reunion we have planned.

This recipe comes from Carolyn at All Day I Dream About Food. (So much truth in that title, am I right?!) I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand, and it came together very quickly. Carolyn’s recipe called for Sukrin Gold, or more Swerve with molasses – so I went with the Swerve/molasses option. I also cut back on the chocolate chips and added PECANS, of course. Baked goods NEED pecans!

Low Carb Blondies | Losing Loads Weight Loss Blog

I tasted the dough before it was cooked (that’s a RULE, right?!) and it had a great flavor, so I already had high hopes. Once they were in the oven for 20 minutes, I was afraid they would never hold together in an actual bar form because they weren’t firm.

I took them out of the oven to cool as we went out for dinner. Once we arrived back home, they were still slightly warm, so I cut into bars and easily picked them up as bars without falling apart!  We all loved the taste, plenty sweet with only a slight cooling effect (which is why I’m cutting back some on the Swerve), but totally worth it for the overall taste and texture. It definitely filled that chocolate chip cookie craving I’ve had lately. I loved the edge pieces the best, so I’m going to cook them a little longer next time to see how that works.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies
slightly modified from original
Yield: 16 bars / Serving Size: 1 bar

1/2 cup butter
2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup Swerve Sweetener
1/4 cup Swerve and 2 tsp molasses, mixed well
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (Lily’s Sugar Free Choc Chips – 42g)
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Place butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook until the butter is melted and and becomes a deep amber, and has a nutty aroma. Remove and let cool.
Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9×9 inch square pan (an 8×8 is acceptable but your blondies will take longer to cook).
In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, sweeteners, baking powder, and salt. Stir in egg, browned butter and vanilla extract until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Press dough evenly into prepared ban and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until just set and golden brown. Let cool and cut into squares.

Wendy’s Notes: I cut back on the original amount of chocolate chips, and added 1/3 cup of pecans. I cooked mine in a 9×9 pan for the full 20 minutes. On my next batch I may cut back on the Swerve a bit, as well as cook about 5 minutes longer.

Nutritional Information: Serves 16. Based on my changes (and if my math is correct) Each serving has 174 calories, 16g total fat, 5.5 total carbs, 2.6 fiber, 4g protein; 2.75g NET carbs.

This past week or so hasn’t gone exactly as planned – that’s life, I suppose. I’m still trying to get back into my personal acceptable weight range after hitting my low point for goal. I suppose I celebrated a little too much after I hit that low point. 😉 It is coming back off, it’s just taking it’s sweet time doing so.

With a few events around Memorial Day weekend, I really wanted to have something like this available to keep me on track, since I was totally ready to enjoy myself that day (by eating the bad-for-me “good” stuff). But, I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. I need to keep the reins a bit tighter, I guess. It seems my body wants to either gain or lose – it’s not ready to maintain yet.

This is all new to me, so I’m learning as I go. My body is still trying to get used to this place (and so is my mind), and I’m still trying to teach it how to stay there. As I told my husband last week – I thought maintenance would be much easier. Boy, was I WRONG.

Even after almost 2 and a half years, I still have that little voice in my head saying “a little of this won’t hurt”… “one off meal won’t hurt” … “just this once.” And when I do, the number on the scale takes a beating. There’s no coasting along here. It may take a while for me to figure all this out, I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.

 

{ cinna-yum }

Now that I’ve reached my goal weight and ready for maintenance, I am ready to try all sorts of recipes I never wanted to “risk” before (not knowing how those recipes would affect my weight loss).

I pretty much love cinnamon ANYTHING, so cinnamon recipes always stick out when I’m cruising the web. This is “technically” a modified breakfast recipe, but since it’s sweet, I think it could be used as a dessert or snack as well. Any sweetener will work (to taste), I adjusted mine because it wasn’t quite sweet enough. Aim for less sweetener – you can always stir in more if it’s not to your liking.

RicottaSnack copy.jpg

Low Carb Cinnamon Roll Bowl
(snack size – double for meal size)

1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp Xylitol
1/4 tsp Swerve granular
5 toasted pecan halves, chopped
Cinnamon (a few dashes – to taste)

Mix together ricotta cheese and sweetener(s) until well blended. Add additional ingredients and stir – enjoy!

Mine was pictured before I stirred in the last ingredients, of course – it’s prettier that way. I would assume it would taste just fine without stirring in, but I wanted the cinnamon throughout the ricotta cheese.

My next thought is… how would this taste BAKED? Warm ricotta, cinnamon, pecans – YUM. If anyone tries it baked, let me know!

Nutritional Information (snack size): 1 serving – 156 calories; 13g fat; 7.5g protein; 3.4g carbs; .7g fiber; 2.7 net carbs.

{ celebration }

As a few of you may already know, I hit my weight loss goal this past Saturday, May 14, 2016. I was completely overwhelmed and thrilled!!  It was actually a huge surprise to me.

I had really hit it hard the last week or so, and by Friday, I was pretty certain I would NOT hit it the next day, like I so desperately wanted to. I was hungry, tired, depressed, didn’t feel good, and I just wanted a bunch of MEAT by the time Friday night rolled around. I eat chicken a lot, and I’m completely addicted to it, but I really wanted smoked BEEF BRISKET for some reason. So, Friday night we went to a local BBQ joint and I had a half pound of brisket and a chunk of block cheddar cheese.

Let me back up just a bit… May 14th was a big day for our town, college graduations, prom night for high schools, etc. So, I wanted to leave town because it would be so busy. Leaving town means *better* shopping and… *wonderful* eating… about 2 hours from home. I wanted to hit my goal so it could be more of a celebration as well, and so I didn’t have to wait another week or two to finally hit that big goal.

Back to Friday night: I ate all my BBQ, most of the big block of cheese and even a slice of sausage from my husband’s sandwich. It was all so good, and made me feel better – even knowing it would make me not hit my goal. We went out in town later that night, and we *almost* went for a dessert (I was feeling better, but still depressed about not hitting goal, and just wanted to EAT) – but, thankfully, it was almost 9pm, so we decided to just go home and I’m SO GLAD we did.

The next morning, we got up 3 hours earlier than we normally do so we could get ready and head out of town to make a full day of it. When I got on the scale extra earlier than usual on a Saturday, and the scale showed I hit goal, I was in complete SHOCK. Thank you Lord, and thank you brisket!

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Saturday became a full day of celebration – and it was fantastic. Did I eat a lot of things I don’t normally?  Of course. Did I spend too much shopping? Most certainly. However, that will not deter me from the direction of my life. The stress has lifted and I feel like I can live my life – my NEW life – starting now. Personally, my goal was to hit 145, and my “maintenance range” is the 5 pounds above that – basically below 150. I didn’t intended to hit that goal and stay at or below. I want to stay right above 145, which is why it didn’t bother me to enjoy my day. I will continue low carb, and now I feel like I can stretch out a bit, relax, try new recipes, and other things I didn’t want to risk before.


My husband suggested we make May 14th an annual family holiday, taking the day off work (if it’s a weekday) and leave town – we will call it:  “The May Get A-Weigh.”

And I think that’s a fantastic idea.

 

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