Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Post With No Name


176 lbs.  It’ll break. I will it so…



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Please like it. Please.

Housekeeping: To the woman wearing the micro shorts while working out: bikini wax. It’s your civic duty: You look like you’re smuggling a hedgehog.

Here’s a tip to burn some extra calories as you go grocery shopping: PUT THE SHOPPING CART BACK IN THE CART CORRAL! You’ll burn those calories, help prevent aggravation (especially at this time of year when people are stressed and wearing ridiculous sweaters with reindeer and actual jingle bells), help lower auto insurance rates by preventing random accidents involving rogue shopping carts, keep prices down for the merchants so they don’t have to keep replacing carts or pay the cart catchers to find them. It’s good karma and Santa is watching.

As part of my effort to improve my health and lower my weight, I have been paying attention to what I eat, not only quantities, but what makes up the food. I’ve come to the unscientific conclusion that sugar and starch will throw my metabolism practically into reverse. This would seem to rule out baked goodies and sweets, which is kind of hard because I enjoy baking and eating baked goods and sweets. What’s a girl to do?

“Clean eats that taste like cheats”: that’s the motto on www.emilyzaler.com. I found this website through an LA Times article about Emily Zaler and how she has adapted various recipes to make them healthier. Ms. Zaler is a personal trainer (and judging from the pictures on her website, she practices what she preaches) who has created recipes for baked goods that substitute protein powder and stevia (a natural sugar alternative. It’s plant-derived, available pretty much anywhere. Seen the ads for Truvia? Yeah, that’s stevia). I have test driven 3 of the recipes: Low carb pumpkin pie, EZ Whey Fudge and chocolate mousse and I’ve got to say, I’m impressed.

Now, I’m not going to give you the recipes here because they are copyrighted and her property. (The Android app is only $1.99 and it has the Top 10 recipes) Let me give you an idea, though. “Normal” pumpkin pie is 323 calories (for 1/8 of a 9” pie), 14.63 grams of fat, 42 grams of carbohydrate and 21 grams of sugar. That’s a substantial bite out of your calorie/carb budget for the day (think of your daily food intake as spending money: x amount per day to use (calories in/money out). Exceeding the limit is not a good idea and you want to make the best/wisest choices. Empty calories are not a good idea, neither is tucking a week’s pay into a stripper’s G string if you haven’t paid the rent or bought groceries). Ms. Zaler’s version is 235 calories and  4 grams of carbs (that’s less than 1/10th of the “real” stuff!). She’s very skilled with substituting protein powders for flour. In this case, instead of pie crust, you’re using protein powder (Ms. Zaler is a spokesperson for About Time protein powder and one version of her recipe uses their Vanilla or Cake Batter flavor. Another version uses Graham Cracker flavor protein powder, which I found as a Muscle Milk variety). Instead of whole eggs, she’s using egg whites, adding flax (fiber is your buddy) and substituting stevia for sugar. I made it for myself on Thanksgiving morning and it was REALLY good. I’m not the biggest pumpkin pie fan, but this worked. I think her recipe is intended as a single serving, but I was satisfied with half at a time. I imagine the basic recipe (again, go to www.emilyzaler.com for the recipe) could be adapted to other custard-style pies. It was great. It worked.

Another recipe I tried was EZ Whey Fudge. Minimal preparation, 211 calories (I’m not sure of the weight v. regulation fudge), 211 calories, 4.3 grams of carbs. And it’s good. 20 seconds to melt coconut oil (available at Trader Joe’s…), about 3 minutes to measure and mix ingredients, then freeze for 10 minutes. If you can’t delay gratification for 10 minutes, it’s time to see a shrink.

There are recipes for breads, mini protein doughnuts (I refuse to write “donut” unless I’m referring to a particular chain whose name starts with Dunkin), pancakes, waffles, MUFFINS (have you seen the calorie count for 1 lousy, stinking muffin? Try over 440! Hers? 332. The carb count is kind of high at 42.6, but…).  There is a way to have goodies without blowing the diet.

Clean eats that taste like cheats, indeed.

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