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(Originally published on my old blog SECS vs PCOS in March 2012)
Ok, so by now you probably know that eating a diet that is rich in protein and low in carbs and sugar and processed crap is a good idea. You probably also miss some of your old crappy fixes. Your bad mood foods. Things like ice cream and Cheez-its and chocolate. Well I advocate finding things that are okay to cheat with or substitute in for the real thing.
Did you know that PhillySwirl makes these awesome swirled popsicle/creamsicle-like bars that are only 14 calories?! Only 3 net carbs?! They’re called Sweet Delites. They ARE sweet and they ARE delightful. Yes, I know that fake sugar is evil, but it is generally the last thing for me to give up. I have to have a crutch for a little while. I personally think that’s okay. It doesn’t seem to affect my weight loss or cravings too much. It provides just enough to move past ‘needing’ something sweet. If you’re human, like me, give them a try. They will not disappoint. I was absolutely amazed. My fiance and I were looking for something yummy that wouldn’t break the carb bank in the ice cream novelties section at that evil place called Wal-Mart. My fiance thought they looked “janky”- I thought they looked like they were worth a try. Guess who was right?
Okay, so another “cheat” that was discovered this week. Fake Cheez-its, or rather gourmet cheese crisps. You know, like the fancy things they put on salads and garnish entrees with? It’s so incredibly easy. Take some hard cheese (like Romano or Parmesan) and sprinkle it in little piles on a silicone mat or parchment paper or something that you have placed on a baking sheet. Flatten the piles a bit and bake at 350 until nice and golden. You’ll be shocked at how much they seem like your usual junky crackers. However, instead, you’re having a nice, carb-free protein packed crunchy snack. The thing that really gets to me about removing processed carbs is the lack of crunchy foods. Yes, I know some fruits and vegetables crunch, but it’s so not the same thing.
Next, low-carb tortilla chips (and pizza). I was really hankering for some chunky, spicy salsa this week. I don’t know why. I got frustrated because tortilla chips aren’t exactly on my eating plan. Then I realized, hey, I can make tortilla chips out of my low carb tortillas that I use to make “pizza”. La Tortilla Factory make low carb, high fiber tortillas that are the bomb! Seriously, check them out. Even the large ones are only like 6 net carbs. To make the chips, simply heat up some healthy oil on about medium heat (I used a cast iron skillet- my two favorite cooking pans are my cast iron skillet and my wok, seriously). Cut the tortilla(s) up into eighths or so and place the pieces so that they don’t touch in the oil. Keep flipping them until they’re golden and the frying action has chilled out, this means they’re crisp because the water is steamed out of them. Drain them on paper towels and use with whatever (diet friendly) dip you’re craving. Seriously, it’s easy and delicious.
If you’re craving pizza, that’s easy too! Take one of your (now beloved) tortillas, bake it a couple of minutes to make it crisper (if you want) coat it in sugar free pizza sauce or pesto (yum!), cheese, and toppings. Bake it at 350 (or I like to broil it until the cheese bubbles up and browns). It’s seriously delicious and so incredibly easy to do! You won’t miss the bad stuff.
As you can see, low carb does not have to mean denial of all things yum. Get a little creative, you might amaze yourself. For instance, those cheese crisps totally kick Cheez-its’ ass plus they’re healthier and filling! What do you do to indulge your cravings? Are you a teetotaler or do you get creative in the kitchen?
Would you like to read the whole story?
Check out all the posts in this series here.