Category Archives: impressions

{ 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.



{ 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!


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.


{ direction }

Well into two years of this journey, I am still learning so much – so much about diet and nutrition, and so much about MYSELF.

I randomly ran across this saying today and it really hit home:


This past Saturday, I hit a new low – only 2.5 pounds from goal… then I GAINED for three days straight (when eating everything right). It’s so hard seeing the number on the scale move up and away from that finish line.

I was complaining to my husband about it (no surprise there), and he made a very interesting observation. “Which is really a failure? The one who goes back to the old lifestyle — or the one who keeps on a path of healthy living?” His birthday was earlier this week, and he wanted to go out to a place that’s NOT low carb friendly for me (and one of my most favorite places). So, of course, I was stressing out about it after the previous gains in the week, and he continued, “the fact that it’s on your mind – you have it before you – you keep the resistance there… this speaks volumes.”

Direction. MY Direction.

After that discussion – and a great meal (yum!) – I decided I needed to quit putting added stress in my life. Something needed to change. I am a self-admitted scale addict — literally weighing MULTIPLE times a day. I am going back to weighing in only on Saturdays. I am already feeling less stressed without the scale looming over me every morning. I was also in a race to finish. Why the rush? Who was I racing?? No one. Just me. Does it really matter what the scale says? Shouldn’t *healthy* be the important thing?


This entire week gave me a whole new perspective. I know the direction I’m going, and one higher carb meal isn’t going to deter that. I’ve done all of this before, so I know what to do and NOT to do.

It’s all about the right direction.



{ carbs happen }

In my last post about recommitment, I meant well… but, things happen.

In my case:  Spring Break.

I decided to take a few days off and enjoy my short break.

I thought I could keep my eating under control and only moderately eat off plan. Big FAIL.
I learned a LOT from this short break. Food addiction is no laughing matter. And it NEVER goes away. People don’t understand food addiction, it is like no other addiction. Like I’ve said before, food is not something you can give up. We all have to eat to live – THREE times a day, typically. But for me, there’s no eating a *little* of this or that when it comes to carbs. Once I start, it’s over – until I cut it off completely. I ate WAY more than I should, of way too many things I don’t normally eat. A few times I could have easily skipped a meal because I wasn’t even remotely hungry (to put it bluntly, I was FULL) … but I was on my “break” and wanted to eat all those foods I don’t normally eat while it was “allowed.” FOUR days, and LOTS of pounds later… I felt awful, both physically and mentally. So much so that I didn’t extend my food fest into my last day I was actually off.

BUT. Here’s the difference between the old me and the new me…

I’ve done this before. I know EXACTLY where it leads. And I know what to do to stop going down that road again.

Carbs Happen | Losing Loads Weight Loss Blog

I’m right back to my low carb lifestyle after enjoying a lot of food, and I’ve already lost most of the weight I gained. I used a new calculator found at KetoDiet Buddy, which showed my fats should be closer to 75%-80% a day, and protein at only 66 grams. I’m used to eating 100+ grams a day, and I LOVE meat, so I haven’t been able to go that low, but I’ve tried to stay closer to 80ish grams and keep fat in the 73%+ range, and this week it REALLY seems to be working. I’ve lost about two pounds a day – which a lot of that is water weight from the carbs, of course, and I think I’m back into losing *actual* weight. Even still – I’m thrilled. For quite a few months, I was sticking to around 60-65% fat a day, and it was working, but for now I am going to try close to 75% and see where that gets me. Usually I would resort to a fat fast or some drastic measure after eating and gaining the way I did. This week I could still eat close to what I normally did, just more fat, without the fasting. It’s been great. I’m hoping this new fat level will continue the weight loss for a while.

Now I have a new finish line – I want to hit goal before my (yikes) 20-year reunion this summer in a little over 3 months. I’m further away from goal than I was before Spring Break, but I can do it. Not that many pounds left!



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