Stevia Flavored Sweetener Review

AnuMed-Intl reached out to us via Twitter and offered an opportunity to review their Stevia products.  This couldn’t have come at a better time as I had just made a pointed decision to reduce my artificial sweetener intake.

They sent us a 100 pack of assorted flavor packets and the three liquid bottles you see in the picture.  So generous! I couldn’t wait to give it a try in my morning coffee.

I gave the Caramel Delicioso the first taste and liked the rich caramel flavor.  The package warns that one packet is equal to two teaspoons of sugar and it was indeed very sweet.  I think my tastebuds have adjusted to less sweetness over the last couple of months so it was especially striking.  My next cup I used less than a full packet and enjoyed it more.

Next I tried the Creamy Vanilla drops.  I liked how easy it was to choose my sweetness level by counting out fewer drops.  Today I used the Stevia Natural drops (no flavor) to see if the flavorings were covering up any unusual tastes.  My coffee tastes just great.

When I think just two months ago I was grieving over the loss of real sugar in my coffee – I wonder if I had moved directly from sugar to stevia how I would have felt about it.  Impossible to say.  Moving from Splenda to stevia is definitely not going to be difficult.

I haven’t tried the fruity flavors they sent me yet, when I get a chance to I’ll come update you on my opinions about them.

P.S. Other than receiving the free product, we did not receive payment for this post.

Low Carb Dinner: Chicken & Button Mushrooms

Yesterday I brought a fresh roaster chicken home and devoured the dark meat straight off the bone. I was so hungry and it was so delicious!

Today faced with the rest of the chicken I decided to make up my own dish.  I grabbed a small jar of button mushrooms and threw them in a small pan with butter.  I ripped off pieces of the chicken breast and toss them into the pot too.  I added just a bit of heavy cream and a couple shakes of a Rosemary & Garlic herb mix and stirred it all up.

When it was heated through I put it on a place and threw a handful of mozzarella cheese on top.

I figure the whole plate was less than ten carbs.

Pure Water For Low Carb Weight Loss

Water, water, water! Are you so tired of people gabbing at you about the important of water to your weight loss?

It’s just so darned important it doesn’t hurt for it to be mentioned now and then.  I’ve found if I don’t monitor my water intake I’ll easily fall away from getting what I should so being reminded is a good thing.

I just bought a Brita Water Pitcher, it’s my first ever.  I used to be a bottled water buyer and I dropped the habit over this past winter. I live in an area that has good water so there’s no real reason to worry about the water – yet I have a ‘thing’ about plain drinking tap water.  I’ll drink it when it’s been made into coffee and I’ll drink it mixed with Crystal Light or something like that – but if its plain jane water, I just can’t drink it down.

The Brita pitcher is my solution.  I’m happier knowing my good city water has been filtered right before it hits my lips.

How Much Water Do We Need?

Eight 8oz glasses of water, right?

Oh the opinions I’ve heard and read about this!

I read somewhere that I should drink an ounce of water for every two pounds of my weight.  So 300 pounds = 150 ounces?  Yikes!

I’ve heard that you shouldn’t count caffeinated beverages in your total ounces because it acts as a diuretic.  It makes sense doesn’t it?

Whatever is true, most of us aren’t getting enough.  When I spent an evening in the ER recently the nurse told me that most people who come in are dehydrated – whether there’s an obvious reason or not. (They expect someone with severe flu to be dehydrated, but not someone with a broken arm.)

The best measure I’ve heard so far is this:  If your pee is dark, you’re not drinking enough.  A well hydrated body expels pale yellow or nearly clear urine.

From a hydration point of view, almost all non-caffeinated fluid is good – but from a low carb perspective, I understand that Pure Water is King.

I’ve decided to drop Crystal Light for a few weeks to see if giving it up helps me with my weight loss while low carbing.   I was drinking a lot of it every day so I know all of those one carb servings were stacking up.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

I bought the Brita 42556 Grand 80-Ounce Water Filtration Pitcher from Amazon.

Low Carb Garlic Breadsticks

These are delicious!

I followed Lynn’s recipe for Low Carb Garlic Breadsticks and I’m so glad I did!

I added some colby jack on top after I flipped them half way through cooking.

Just what I needed tonight :)

Let’s Talk About Energy

You’ve probably heard people who low carb talk about their energy level increasing.  Well, it’s true!

First, you don’t get the up and downs that come with a diet rich in carbohydrates.  Beyond that, I don’t know why we end up feeling so energized.  I would love to be educated by someone who knows.

I am blown away by how much energy I have lately.  I crave exercise which is unheard of for me in the past.

I love taking a nap in the late afternoon, but several days a week I don’t feel like laying down.  This sorta freaks me out because I like my napping lifestyle.

Thinking about it over the last week I decided what I really like about a nap is the ‘total break’ from doing anything work related. (I work at home online.)  So, if I don’t feel like napping, I get out of the house and head to the gym for a swim. (I’ll admit I sometimes want a nap after the swim LOL!)

Not today though.  Today I swam laps for 20 minutes in the afternoon and never did feel like snoozing after.  I got home refreshed and went back to work.  Tonight I went to Anytime Fitness and put in another 50 minutes of cardio on the elliptical and treadmill.

This is so out of character for me but I’m having a good time and hope it lasts!

Low Carbing: Time To Start Watching The Fat Intake (Nope, changed my mind)

Weight loss has been a huge challenge for me in this second month of low carbing.  My thyroid medication had to be increased and I’m pretty sure that has had an impact on my metabolism.  Ever since I’ve been wobbling up and down on the same two or three pounds of weight loss.  I’ve been solid about my carb intake so it’s discouraging to not see progress.

This is not a situation likely to change (my thyroid issues) so I have to adapt and overcome it!  I decided this week that I’m going to have to do two things:

  • Lower my fat intake.
  • Get more exercise.

The pic above is of my breakfast this morning.  That’s three eggs (only two egg yolks) and three links of turkey sausage.  The links tasted great – perhaps not as great as regular pork sausage would have tasted, but good enough that I can embrace it.  The eggs were great too.  I’d like to wean my self down to one yolk per three egg scramble within the week.  These changes will reduce a lot of fat from my diet over the course of a week.

When you’re low carbing, fat is a good thing – so I don’t want to avoid it completely.  I want to eat full fat dressings, etc.  But choosing leaner meats is a smart decision for sure.

Update 4-15-12: I decided I’m overreacting to my slow weight loss situation.  I will choose leaner meats when it fits my tastes but I didn’t experience any better results when I lowered my fat this past week.

I joined a second gym yesterday and went for my first workout last night.

My first gym has a pool and hot tub, which I love!  But they close at 10pm and after 10 is my prime work out time.

The new gym is Anytime Fitness.  They’ve got great equipment and TV’s on all of their aerobic stuff.  THAT rocks. I stayed on the treadmill last night just to finish watching the show I’d gotten absorbed in.  (When you stop walking – the TV turns off LOL!)

Low Carb Strawberry Shortcake Made Easter Dinner Delicious

One of the most difficult aspects of changing your lifestyle is making it through holidays and all of the traditional foods we love.

This Easter turned out to be quite easy to deal with.  I had ham, green beans, yellow squash and deviled eggs.  I snacked on a few sugar free chocolate easter eggs and some sugar free jello jigglers.  I also nibbled some cheese and olives before dinner.

I certainly didn’t stick to my daily goal of 20 net carbs – but I didn’t splurge on high carb foods and never felt an after dinner ‘carb crash’.

I made this delicious low carb strawberry shortcake, I sure wish I had taken a pic!

Low Carb Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

  • 8 ounce sour cream (10)
  • 1/2 cup Splenda granules (12)
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 cups CarbQuik Bakemix (12)

Cut butter into CarbQuik until you’ve got little pea-sized bits. Stir the vanilla into the sour cream, then add to the dry mix – I had to blend it all together using my hands.  It turns out really lumpy and that’s perfectly ok.  (Don’t feel like you need to add liquid.)

I packed the dough about an inch thick in a brownie pan and baked for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  (Watch until you see it browning on top and notice that it is just slightly pulling away from the edges of the pan.)

Mash a container of strawberries in a bowl and add Splenda to taste.

Serve with whipped cream.

If you cut the ‘shortbread’ into 12 pieces I figure 3 carbs in each piece & 1/2 Cup of sliced strawberries is 5 carbs. Add one carb for Splenda on the strawberries. Add one carb for the whipped cream and I figure it’s 10 carbs total per serving.

I ordered CarbQuik from Netrition.

Low Carb Dinner: Yummy Fish!

Tonight’s low carb dinner was amazing.  My only regret is not cooking up two pieces of fish instead of just one.

This is Gorton’s Grilled Tilapia Butter & Herb flavor.  It was so good!  It cooked up in the microwave in only four minutes.

Add a whole can of green beans (I love green beans!), pats of butter, a big dollop of tartar sauce and I estimate seven net carbs total.

Low Carb Sausage Balls

I tried another recipe from Traveling Low Carb tonight, Low Carb Sausage Balls.  I substituted a cup of Carbquik in place of the Almond Meal that she uses and it lowered the carb count to less than one for every two balls.

I overcooked mine a few minutes, so they’re darker than they should be.  Still, darned tasty! I dipped them in a bit of ranch dressing.

That’s steamed broccoli and cauliflower with a bit shredded cheese on there too of course ;)

Food is Food

I’m closing in on my sixth week as a low carb lifer and had a bit of a downer splurge moment this weekend.

My little grand nieces were over and they wanted pizza for dinner.  My inner dialoge ranged from ‘no problem, I’ll just eat my usual stuff and grab them a pizza.’ to ‘I could eat the cheese and toppings.’ to ‘Oh what the heck, I’ll have pizza too – we’ll call it a splurge day, then I can have some of those girl scout cookies too.’

So, I had some pizza and girl scout cookies.  Then I had a grilled turkey sandwich and chips the next day.  And some chocolate.  (My splurges rules call for a full 24 hours.)

With every bite I had the same thought: Meh.

It was not exciting, not even particularly satisfying.

It was only so-so.

As I put the last bite of carbs in my mouth, I realized – it’s just food.

Whether I’m putting a chip in my mouth, or I’m putting a pork rind in there.  It’s just food.

It didn’t make me feel all that different.

This morning I had no trouble getting back into the low carb thing.

Could it be that carbs have lost their hold on me?

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