About Low Carb Eating

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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Getting Your Head Around Low Carb Alternatives

choice-2692575_960_720As I mentioned before, it took me a few weeks to get my head around what my alternative foods were and how that worked for my usual diet.  Here is some of what I discovered:
Any bread: Simply use cloud bread recipes or use some of the low carb bread recipes.  I’ve also discovered Ole and Mission brand low carb tortillas as well as Joseph’s Pita Bread. Only 5 Net Carbs!  A game changer! Also, use lettuce, avocado cups or buy breads from thinslim.org. 
Any pasta:  Simply replace the pasta with spiralized spaghetti or ribbon cut vegetables or riced cauliflower
Mashed potatoes: Use mashed cauliflower.
Baked Potato/French fries: I don’t really have an answer except to eat more lower carb vegetables.
Rice: Simply replace with riced cauliflower or broccoli.
Any crackers/chips: Eat veggies, pork rinds, cheese crisps, or homemade veggie chips.  You could even make pita-like chips from the low carb tortillas.
Nachos: Use pork rinds instead. Eat fast though as they will get soggy. Again, you could even make pita-like chips from the low carb tortillas.
Pizza: Use pork rind or cauliflower or fat head crust recipes and low carb tomato sauce from Rao’s or Mario Battali with your favorite meat and cheese toppings.  Double check your vegetable toppings’ carb counts.
Ice cream or shakes: Berry smoothies instead.  Beware of high carbs.  Use frozen berries and greek yogurt.
Desserts: Eat berries or make almond flour cake and cookie alternatives or low carb ice cream. Limit yourself though! Atkins bars!
I could live with this!  Granted soups and casseroles were going to need a bit of adjusting, but now I see this as a challenge instead of a barrier!   I hope you do too!  
I will try to get around to posting some of the recipes I’ve either adjusted or found to share.
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So What is This Low Carb Way of Eating?

change-2930404_960_720Now these are MY goals!
These are also my sisters goals.  We have diabetic specialists watching over us. You might require more Net Carbs per day and so please check with your doctor!  Also, those of you NOT having Metabolic Syndrome could have different Net Carb goals.  So make sure you check, but in short, Dr. Atkins recommends 20 Net Carbs for  greater weight loss and diabetes control and 40 Net Carbs for moderate weight loss.

WARNING: make sure that if you are diabetic or think you are diabetic that the lowering of carbs or raising of fats doesn’t interfere with medications you are taking.  Especially insulin!  This needs to be carefully managed if you are on insulin! Always, always check with your doctor!

But maybe seeing what I am doing will help you!

My diabetic eating goals
  • 20 Carbs if I need to lose weight. Preferably evenly spaced throughout the day. (20 Carbs for weight loss; 30 Carbs for diabetic maintenance for forever.)
  • MOST carbs should come from vegetables, at least at first!
  • 3 to 4 ounces of protein for three main meals each day.
  • A serving of healthy fat for three main meals each day.
If you are like me, I am not going to weigh out meat and cheese.  But in realistic terms here are visual size equivalents that I found helpful:
  • 1 teaspoon is the size of the tip of your thumb from the knuckle up
  • 1 ounce of cheese is about the size of your thumb
  • 1 to 2 ounces is a handful (nuts, etc. spread out on your palm)
  • 1 cup is about the size of your fist
  • 3 ounces of protein is about the size of the palm of your hand
What I know I have to do
  • Avoid sugar, refined flour, trans fats and starches.  Basically, anything white… avoid.  Sadly, this includes most grains and root vegetables.
  • Eat high fiber vegetables, protein (fish/seafood, poultry, beef, pork, eggs, soybean), healthy fats (olive oil, avocados, nuts, butter), dairy (cheese, yogurt) and later when I can add more Net Carbs, berries and melons.
  • Some legumes, higher starch vegetables and whole grains could be allowed, but go sparingly.  You just have to watch your Net Carb count.
It’s that simple.  I also discovered:
  • Erythritol: Glycemic index 0, insulin index 2 is a diabetics best sugar substitute.  Brand name: Swerve.  Of course, Stevia is always a good choice.  Truvia is a mix of erythritol, stevia and a little sugar.
  • This Way of Eating or WOE is higher in fat.  Be careful of the sugars you are eating!  If you cheat, you may actually gain weight!
Does this mean you are going to starve?  On the contrary, I’ve been stuffed full on some days within a 20 Net Carb quota!  It is all in how you work your meals and snacks!
You can check out the Atkins’ plans at this link:
You can also read more about going Low Carb at:




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What are NET CARBS?

plus-161829_960_720Actually, first, what are carbohydrates or “carbs”?  In short, they are the sugar, starches and fiber found in foods, both natural and created.

Some foods, mostly sugar, potatoes and rices have a lot of carbs. Some foods don’t even have carbs, like meats, cheeses and pork rinds.

Carbs are a pretty important source of energy for your body.  It is important to balance these carbs out for your body to function optimally.  I know that I had such an imbalance of carbs for so long that I am now suffering from it in the form of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  Don’t let that happen to you!  Or if it already has, come along on the ride with me here!

NET CARBS are the Total Carbohydrates MINUS the Dietary Fiber and the Sugar alcohols.

The Nutrition Facts will usually list Total Carbohydrates with subcategories of Dietary Fiber (sometimes dividing them into soluble and insoluble fiber), Sugars and sometimes Sugar Alcohols or Sugar Alc.

For example:

  • A cup of fresh broccoli florets contains 5.0 grams of total carbs and 2.0 grams of fiber.  5.0 grams of total carbs – 2.0 grams of fiber = 3.0 NET CARBS.
  • Olé’s Extreme Wellness Spinach and Herbs Tortilla Wraps contains 16.0 grams of total carbs and 11.0 grams of dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble). 16.0 grams of total carbs – 11.0 grams of fiber = 5.0 grams of NET CARBS.
Not everything has sugar alcohols, but when they do, you get to count them.  You DO NOT get to count “sugars”… only “sugar alcohols” or “sugar alc”!  So be careful about that!
  • Atkins Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Crunch Bar contains 17.0 grams of total carbs, 8.0 grams of dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble), 2.0 grams of sugar and 6.0 grams of sugar alcohols. 17.0 grams of total carbs – 8.0 grams of fiber – 6.0 grams of sugar alcohols = 3.0 grams of NET CARBS.  Notice the sugars were not counted.  (And by the way, these bars are delicious.  I thought they were going to taste terrible like the old diet bars in the 1990’s… the last time I tried a commercial “diet” concoction… but it didn’t!  It is now my go to dessert bar/sweet/movie candy.)
Some will say you only get to count half the sugar alcohols over 5 grams, but I am following Atkin’s lead on counting all sugar alcohols.
Carb Apps are helpful when you are mathematically challenged, you find all this confusing or you are just being lazy.  (We all have our moments.)  Try out some of these apps for your phone:

  • Atkins Carb Tracker
  • Atkins Dine Out
  • Carb Calculator
  • Carb Manager

I found that I use one or all of these carb apps EVERY day!


Or the ultimate app for those without a phone, a smart phone or who hate using their phones… a carb counter book would come in handy. You can go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and other book sellers and get books like:

There are more.
So hopefully this gets you on your way to checking Nutrition Fact labels and getting your true Net Carb counts!
I never thought I’d be one of those women or men that looks at the label of everything they pick up in the grocery, but I now do it and am an advocate.  DO IT!  Then you will get used to it and feel more comfortable with your Net Carb counts.


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