Nutrition Calculator

Finding what is in a recipe can be daunting when you are on a low carb diet and especially if you are in ketosis and don’t want to blow your weight loss.

Also, recently I had a bunch of questions about what the nutrition was on some of my recipes. I know I have that on all my recipes. I found out that when my site engine updated that it didn’t update the embedded calculator that I use. The problem is fixed now.

My recipes come with an built-in calculator that I pay good money for. It is as accurate as we can possibly make it. Can mistakes be made? Sure. I try my hardest not to!!! Still I recommend that you always check every recipe (yours, mine, your grandmother’s, whoever!). You can calculate by hand, but you can also use the link below to give a double check. It is a recipe nutrition analyzer by verwywellfit.com.


It takes some time getting used to it. It breaks things down a bit differently, but it was close enough on the test recipe I did and sure beats calculating by hand!

There are other recipe nutrition calculators out there. Some you have to sign into their site to use and some you don’t.

Here are some others out there:




I haven’t tested any of them against the verywellfit.com calculator, so double check anything you do, if you are concerned with its operation.

If you are worried about all these new fangled calculators being accurate, then learn to calculate by hand to double check accuracy. I did that on the first recipe I ever was going to post and decided “nope” not in my skill set. Thank goodness there are options for those of us not wanting to cipher out a recipe.

Let me know what you think of some of the calculators out there!

Until next time… #lowcarb4ever


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About Beverages


Let’s be clear.  Water is the best thing you can put into your body.  It has no calories.  It is life sustaining.  Your body cannot do without it.  It is the base for all other drinks whether naturally (in milk, fruits, etc.) or unnaturally (by man or machine) added.  It makes sense to just get down to drinking water.   

However, not everyone likes to drink water out of the tap.  It is actually the taste coming from tap water that drove me to any other alternative.  I still have an aversion to it.  Well water or treated water with flouride or cholorine just never tasted right to me. Today’s filters make water taste better.  Whether a pitcher filter, refrigerator filter, sink filter or whole house filter in any of their various forms and techniques, they have definitely improved the flavor of tap water.

There are also various bottled or canned waters.  Some proclaim to be the purest.  Some are spring waters.  Some are filtered waters.  Some are mineral waters.  Some add in minerals or electrolytes.  Some are bubbly or carbonated while others are flat or still.  Some have flavors while others do not.   Some pick up a slight taste from the can or plastic or glass bottle while others do not, at least in my perception.  (I mentioned the genetically superior taste buds before, did I not?)

There is much to choose from.

Just try to drink a lot more water than anything else!  Common sense really.  It flushes out all the other junk in your body.  Why add more stuff like sugar or additives to flush out?  Again, my taste buds get in the way… I just sometimes want flavor over common sense.  Eventually my common sense will win out though!  I’m getting there!  So can you!


I was kind of depressed about not being able to drink juice on a low carb lifestyle.  So many juices are astronomically high carb!  While I am missing my Martinelli Apple Juice, Ocean Spray rode to the rescue in the form of it’s Diet juices.  (Not “Light” juices the “Diet” Juices.  Don’t confuse them or your carb counting will be drastically off!) They are more delicious than I could hope for and with varied flavors!  Check them and others out in your grocery aisle!


What’s to say?  I hate the stuff.  I use it to cook with.  I just don’t like the flavor, but millions of people do love milk whether its full or partial-fatted milk or skim milk.  It divides out in baking recipes to lower the per serving carb count, but the carbs are high to just drink a glass of milk.   Good alternatives are unsweetened Almond and Coconut milk.  Maybe its because I’ve not drunk milk in decades, but I find Almond and Coconut Milk delicious and their carb count pretty awesome at 2 grams per 8 ounces versus 11 or 12 grams per 8 ounces of 1% Milk.  Beware, if you get the sweetened versions you will be looking at 8 grams of carbs per 8 ounces.  Unsweetened Almond and Coconut Milk substitute well in recipes too!

Coffee & Tea

Oh there are all sorts of studies about coffee and tea.  I’ll let you Google those for yourself.  Water again is the base for both these drinks in all their iterations.  You can get both hot and iced coffees or teas everywhere these days whether it is in a specialty shop, grocery or restaurant.  There are a multitude of flavors or flavor syrups or drops that you can add to these.  The combinations are endless.  

You can get a kettle, brewing machine, microwave or Keurig-type machine going with some water and do thousands of combinations at home too.

We drink a ton of iced tea in our house either plain or with lemon (me) or with Sweet Leaf Stevia (the husband).  In fact, as long as I’ve known my husband, I don’t remember him without his “tea jug”.  P.S. He loves Stevia and will only drink his tea with it… and he isn’t even diabetic!  

Flavored Syrups

A word about flavored syrups.  There are sugar free versions.  Granted they are mostly Aspartame-based and so I try not to use a great deal of it, but there are many sugar free flavors to choose from.  Vanilla, Almond, Almond Roca, Brown Sugar, Carmel, Chocolate, White Chocolate, Coconut, Hazelnut, Strawberry, Peppermint, Peach, Cherry, Orange, Mango, Lemon, Lime, Pumpkin Pie and more!

We not only put these in coffees and teas but use them to cook with.  I once ruined a pound cake by having too much going on in the kitchen and forgetting to put the Truvia in the cake.  I almost tossed the cake until I remembered I had the syrups.  I poked holes in the cake and doused it with vanilla syrup.  It soaked it right up and was delicious!!!!  We decided that I was on to something!  I might ruin more cakes on purpose just to use the syrups with them.

There are different brands around the country but my favorite (so far) are the Torani brands.  I have found them at Cost Plus/World Markets in abundance.  They have large selections.  In some grocery stores I have found small bottles of their sugar free vanilla and french vanilla on the coffee aisle.   If you don’t feel like seeking them out here is a link for Torani Sugar Free Syrup 4-bottle starter pack.

Hot Chocolate

Swiss Miss makes a Diet Hot Chocolate mix with an okay carb count.  (Not to be confused with their Light Hot Chocolate mix.)  I’ve not found a low carb enough recipe to create, adjust or pass on yet, but I am still looking.

Diet Drinks

Now of course most everyone knows all the sugar free or “diet” drink options on the market.  Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper make sure of that in their media bombardments.  Granted those diet or “zero” drinks are good options when trying to wean off of sugar drinks.  However, until lower glycemic options are used more in those drinks, they are still an issue for us.    Too, there are all sorts of controversial side affects of sugar substitutes currently used in diet soft drinks (ice creams, candies, gums, etc.)

There are studies suggesting that diet drinks, aside from their artificial ingredients, actually are associated with Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.  Logic would say that less sugar or no sugar (using alternative additives) would be okay for diabetics, but some studies show this not to be the case.  One major study “showed a 67 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes in people who drank diet soda daily. As such, diet soda may not be the healthiest option for people looking to control or prevent type 2 diabetes.”  

I’ll be the first one to admit that I am a Diet Mountain Dew addict.   I love the stuff!  I have to have it first think in the morning or I have a terrible day… just like any coffee junkie you know.  I used to drink a six-pack a day.  I now drink one in the morning because I know it isn’t that good for me.   Eventually, I will stop drinking it all together, but baby steps.  I’m working on food.  Then I’ll work more on the drink.  If I can do it… YOU can do it!

Odd thing I’ve noticed.  If I have two diet drinks in one day… I crave more food.  I don’t know if there is scientific basis for this, but it happens to me!  This has happened to me the last five times I’ve doubled my drinks.  Logic would say not to buy them.  Stress or a good sale often puts them in my grocery cart. Scientists would say stress can cause the food cravings, but cravings have happened when I didn’t stress drink one too.  Yesterday I drank two and was ravenous. Not sure if there is anything to that, but it has made me wonder! 

Flavored Water Drops


One of the best ideas to control the flavor of your water, should you desire flavor, is the advent of water flavor enhancers.  There are many many brand and off-brand names out there.  Because of glycemic index and my preferred taste, I tend to gravitate toward Stevia based drops.  

My absolute favorite drops are from Sweet Leaf (they of the best tasting Stevia out there!) and are called Water Drops.  They are a little hard to find sometimes, but are the most delicious.  There is Peach Mango, Strawberry Kiwi, Raspberry Lemonade and Lemon Lime.   The Peach Mango and Strawberry Kiwi are delicious.  (I finally found the Lemon Lime and Rasberry Lemonade and they are not to my tastes.)  I go to the grocery and buy all they have and hoard them.  (Maybe people like me are the reason they are hard to find… hmmmm.) I almost won’t share them at home, but I love my husband too much to keep a good thing from him.  Sweet Leaf also has regular flavor drops in Vanilla, Coconut, Carmel and Chocolate to flavor water and other drinks as well.

The Skinny Girl brand of water drops are quite good as well.  My favorite is the White Cherry.  They also have Blueberry Acai, Tangerine Pink Grapefruit and my husband’s favorite Pineapple Coconut.  

There are other brands such as Mio and Stur that use stevia as well.  Check them out!   I particularly like the Mio enhanced vitamins and electrolytes.

MAKE SURE you read the labels to check for the Stevia brand mark or that it is in the ingredient list.  There are other low carb options out there, but if you can get a better glycemic sugar… why not go for that instead!?!

Wine, Beer & Spirits

If you are on a low carb diet and enjoy drinking socially occasionally, as I do, then you will find yourself initially lamenting the low carb lifestyle.  What I’ve discovered is that not all is lost!  If you find yourself with carbs to spare for the day, you can work in a drink every now and then.   

Dry wines are the best. That’s red or white.  Although there is literature suggesting Red is better for Metabolic Syndrome, and so I stick with Reds.  It stands to reason that sweet wines are the worst.

While we miss our German beers and craft beers that are high in carbs, there are decent tasting low carb beers out there.   Michelob Ultra beers are low carb and taste pretty good to us.  They even have an amber version, which my husband prefers.  We tend to drink a beer with our low carb pizza or when grilling out.  This fills the bill nicely!  Coors, Busch, Budweiser all make low carb beers.  An awesome list can be found at Low Carbe Diem.

Pure spirits are the best like whiskey, vodka and tequila.  Dry Martini’s and Vodka/Soda/Lime are low carb. Mixers are the worst!  Be careful of juices and sodas.  A good guide can be found at the Diet Doctor.  

If you do drink, please be responsible when you drink!  Your liver will thank you as well as your fellow humans!  If you are on a low carb diet, then alcohol could effect you more.  Don’t ever drink and drive!  As a victim of a drunk driver as well as having a friend and her unborn child killed by a drunk driver… it is a small request that you keep yourself and others safe on the road by acting responsibly.


And truly… and lastly… I’ll go back to the beginning… water really is the best thing we can drink!


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High Cholesterol

cholesterol-149091_960_720How are you going to even know when you have high cholesterol?  There are no symptoms.  Only a blood test can detect high cholesterol meaning you need to have been or need to go to a clinic or doctor for that determination.  You could have it and not even know it!

Why would you get high cholesterol?  Well, some people inherit it from their parents, but it is often a result of an unhealthy lifestyle, one that is without a good diet or proper exercise.

So what is cholesterol anyway? It is a waxy substance found in the fats in your blood.  When you are melting Crisco in a pan, there is a point where some of it is melted and some is not. It is sort of like that where there are fluid fats and a more solid substance.

Is cholesterol needed? Your body needs cholesterol but having too much can be bad for you.  Too much can deposit a sort of build up on the walls of your blood vessels.  Sort of like when your drains get clogged in your kitchen with too much cooking grease going down the drain and then building up on the pipes.  If your blood vessels get clogged with cholesterol then it decreases blood flow to areas like the heart and brain and lessens oxygen getting to where it is needed.  This can all lead to heart attacks or strokes.

What happens if I’m told I have high cholesterol? There are three basic things that can be done about it.  Change your diet and eat foods lower in cholesterol.   Exercise can help lower need for it.  Too, there are medications that can help level out the cholesterol.  It may be a combination of all three.

Cholesterol IS something to be concerned about, but it IS preventable or manageable if you take the right steps.  Make sure you regularly get physical examinations at your healthcare facility!

For more information visit this site:
Mayo Clinic – High Cholesterol
American Heart Association Cholesterol Guide

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High Blood Pressure


What is high blood pressure? 

It is basically the pressure of your blood against the inside of your arteries.  How much blood your heart pumps and how much resistance your arteries have in pumping throughout your body determines the pressure level.

How do you know you have high blood pressure? 

Most people don’t know until it is diagnosed on a visit to a healthcare provider.  Sometimes a headache, nosebleed or shortness of breath can be a tip off that you have high blood pressure, but not always, and these symptoms could indicate another health issue entirely.

You should check your blood pressure every couple of years when you are 18 and older.  When you are 40 you should check every year.  If you are not regularly having a check up with a healthcare provider (and you should!), there are blood pressure units you can buy or find at pharmacies to test your own blood pressure.  Anything that is considerably over or under 120/80 is reason for concern and a discussion with your healthcare provider.

Why would you get high blood pressure? 

It can develop over a long period of time.  Sometimes it is inherited through your parents.

You know those long carnival balloons that you can twist into shapes like dogs or giraffes?  Well the balloon looked normal when it was deflated and before it was blown up.  Once blown up fully, it looks like a long smooth hot dog before it is shaped.  Then pressure is put on it to make the shapes.  You can even see some areas are darker and lighter on the balloon because the darker areas are thicker and the lighter areas are thinner. When you deflate the balloon, it doesn’t look anything like it did before it was blown up because pressure extended the walls to make the shapes.  It is kind of like that on the walls of your arteries.  They can get weakened in some areas and misshapen because of the pressure in them.

See High Cholesterol page.  Also, the more cholesterol lining your blood vessels, the narrower your arteries are and the higher the pressure can be.

What happens if I am told I have high blood pressure? 

There could be an increased risk of heart attack and stroke with high blood pressure.  Exercise, weight loss (if needed) and medications can often control high blood pressure, as determined by a healthcare provider.

For more information please visit this site:
Mayo Clinic – High Blood Pressure

There is also some good information at Positive Health Wellness about Everything You Need to Know About High Blood Pressure.

Too, I love a good infographic and this one might help you with your foodchoices, courtesy of Positive Health Wellness.  However, IF you are metabolic… beets, bananas and oatmeal have to be in very limited quantities, if at all.  However, there are many other alternatives on the list to indulge in!



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Glycemic Index

unhealthy-1336508_1280So what is the Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index (or GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar (glucose) levels after eating, according to international leaders in the field at the University of Sydney.

Why is this important?

Low glycemic index foods’ carbohydrates break down slowly and release glucose gradually into the blood stream.

There are many that believe that adhering to lower GI foods can help with diabetes control, heart disease, Cholesterol control.  It also can supposedly help with weight loss and sugar crashes among other things.

Glycemic Index Values

Low glycemic between 1 and 55
Medium glycemic between 56 and 69
High glycemic 70 and higher.

Diabetics need low glycemic foods, but how do you find out what a food’s glycemic index is?

The best way to remember is really just use low sugar/starch common sense.


  • Low GI: Green vegetables, most fruits, raw carrots, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and bran breakfast cereals. Stick to the vegetables for sure for weight loss and control.  Only use fruits, starchy vegetables, beans and brans on weight maintenance.
  • Medium GI: Sweet corn, bananas, raw pineapple, raisins, oat breakfast cereals, and multigrain, oat bran or rye bread.  Use in great moderation for diabetics and avoid entirely if metabolic.
  • High GI: White rice, white bread and potatoes.  Stay away from these!




For sweeteners, GI is calculated knowing these three things:

  1. The amount of carbohydrate present.
  2. The type of carbohydrate present.
  3. The presence of other substances (soluble fiber for example) that slow metabolism of carbohydrates.
You can see below that some sugars are better for us than others.  I was kind of thrown off when I got a giant bag of Stevia sweetner… only to find out that it was cut with maltodextrin.  While the stevia keeps the carbs low, the glycemic index is higher because of the maltodextrin.  It is all confusing but explains a few things when my glucose readings are higher with no other explanation.  Note to self: ALWAYS READ LABELS and get more informed about this stuff.
Glycemic Index
Maltodextrin Sugar 110
Maltose Sugar 105
Dextrose Sugar 100
Glucose Sugar 100
Trehalose Sugar 70
HFCS-42 Modified Sugar 68
Sucrose Sugar 65
Caramel Modified Sugar 60
Golden Syrup Modified Sugar 60
Inverted Sugar Modified Sugar 60
Refiners Syrup Modified Sugar 60
HFCS-55 Modified Sugar 58
Blackstrap Molasses Sugar Extract 55
Maple Syrup Natural Sugar 54
Honey Natural Sugar 50
Sorghum Syrup Natural Sugar 50
Lactose Sugar 45
Cane Juice Sugar Extract 43
Barley Malt Syrup Modified Sugar 42
HSH Sugar Alcohol 35
Coconut Palm Sugar Natural Sugar 35
Maltitol Sugar Alcohol 35
HFCS-90 Modified Sugar 31
Brown Rice Syrup Modified Sugar 25
Fructose Sugar 25
Galactose Sugar 25
Agave Syrup Modified Sugar 15
Xylitol Sugar Alcohol 12
Glycerol Sugar Alcohol 5
Sorbitol Sugar Alcohol 4
Lactitol Sugar Alcohol 3
Isomalt Sugar Alcohol 2
Mannitol Sugar Alcohol 2
Erythritol Sugar Alcohol 1
Yacon Syrup Natural Sweetener 1
Oligofructose Sugar Fiber 1
Inulin Sugar Fiber 1
Brazzein Natural Sweetener 0
Curculin Natural Sweetener 0
Glycyrrhizin Natural Sweetener 0
Luo Han Guo Natural Sweetener 0
Miraculin Natural Sweetener 0
Monellin Natural Sweetener 0
Pentadin Natural Sweetener 0
Stevia Natural Sweetener 0
Thaumatin Natural Sweetener 0
Acesulfame K Artificial Sweetener 0
Alitame Artificial Sweetener 0
Aspartame Artificial Sweetener 0
Cyclamate Artificial Sweetener 0
Neotame Artificial Sweetener 0
Saccharin Artificial Sweetener 0
Sucralose Artificial Sweetener 0

Make sure to discuss your glycemic tolerance with a nutritionist or health care provider!

With thanks to the below sites!  Please read more at:
Mayo Clinic – Glycemic Index
Sugar & Sweetener Guide
University of Sydney’s Searchable GI Database

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