Oh There’s No Place Like Low Carb For The Holidays

Low Carb HolidaySo, after two very successful weeks, getting Back 2 Basics, tracking my points every day, and losing 6.3 lbs, the official holidays are upon us! Yesterday began my 6-day visit with my parents. We have had many-a-reunion where we just chow down on all of our favorite bad-for-you meals. But after I had gotten back on track, I called my mom, and we decided that there was no need for that this year.

See, my mother has been struggling with her weight for many years and was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 10 or 20 years ago, I can’t remember exactly when. After doing low calorie and low fat and even Weight Watchers for many years, within the last year or so, my mother has been able to control her diabetes without medication by eating a low carb diet. Funny thing is, she credits me for introducing her to it!

For those of you who haven’t had a big chunk of time to read about my dieting past on my original about page, I successfully followed Protein Power and then a low carb diet in general for a few years, about 10 years ago when I was at my skinniest, but somehow when I was bigger, I just couldn’t get it to work for me again. Ironically, it started working for my mother!

I still believe there is still something to be said by the concept of low carb, for several reasons: 1)  It did work for me at one point, 2) It’s working for my mother and controlling her diabetes, 3) it is more in line with the paleo diet concept that our agricultural diet has advanced quicker than our body has been able to adapt to, 4) after I was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, both my General Practitioner and Endocrinologist told me to limit my refined carbs, 5) every body is different, and no one diet fits all, and 6) Weight Watchers has embraced the impact of carbs since including them as a factor in the PointsPlus system.

So, we are not overdoing it for the holidays. (yeah!) I can’t say that it is a completely low carb Christmas… it’s more like a lower carb Christmas. It’s not an over-indulging Christmas. We don’t have pies and cakes and mashed potatoes and stuffing and egg nog and yada, yada, yada. It’s just the three of us, so who needs all of that! So let me give you the scoop on the delicious and fairly healthy food we have been eating so far!

Friday evening, my mom made her version of Alton Brown’s Butterflied, Dry Brined Roasted Turkey with Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella. She only used a turkey breast (flattened), no parsnips, and only 3 slices of spelt bread, which is a sprouted grain bread that is lower in carb than regular bread. She only brined the turkey for one day, and put a small amount of oil and butter on the vegetables. It was so good, and really, pretty healthy! Seriously, you should try this because it was wonderful! We also had a small sugar free low carb cherry dessert using fat free cream cheese, cherry jello, and chocolate shavings, with a bit of sugar free whipped cream on top.

Breakfast on Christmas Eve was Brie Omelets, based on a recipe she found by Emeril Lagasse. We didn’t have fresh herbs, but I had some dried tarragon in mine, and mom and dad had dried chives. I also had one Eggland’s Best egg and part Egg Beaters. Along side of this delightful yet decidedly simple egg dish, we had a very thin slice of spelt bread with organic apple butter and a little butter, and fresh blueberries with a splash of half and half. It was a lovely breakfast!

We had leftover turkey and veggies for lunch, and our Christmas Eve dinner was fondue! We had traditional swiss cheese fondue, which I am sure was not low fat or low calorie! But we dipped broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, apples, a few lil’ smokey sausages, and a little bread in the awesome cheese dip. Unfortunately, the spelt bread got used up in a breakfast casserole for this morning, and the bakery was across town, so we had to use some regular bread (aka refined carbs). We had chocolate fondue for dessert with apples, oranges and toasted bread with a little butter on it. Which yes, it had real sugar (aka more refined carbs) in it, but it was a very high percentage of cacao, so it was heart healthy and had less sugar than say, milk chocolate! This was not really a low carb meal, but we got lots of fruits and veggies and didn’t overeat, and that was the important part! And well, it was our Christmas Eve meal after all, and I don’t believe I a life without ever splurging!

This morning, we had our traditional breakfast casserole made with The Fresh Market made sausage, Egg Beaters, spelt bread, and cheddar cheese. It’s been a tradition for us the past few years, and my mom did ratchet it down with the egg substitute and spelt bread. It was a hearty breakfast, and is in fact supposed to get us through to our early Christmas dinner, so in essence, this is breakfast and lunch!

Beyond eating, we are also finding time to get in some activity! (Well, ok, I am only starting my third day here, and we didn’t do any on Friday, but…) Last night, my dad and I played Wii Deca Sports (in which I also learned what the heck Curling was, and that I suck at!), and we went for a walk around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. It was a wee bit cold, but we were bundled up and it probably made us walk faster!

All in all, I know we are not being perfect, and I am not counting my points, but I feel like I am still in control. We are not overdoing it, and we are making an effort to be active too. My hopes for this visit are to continue eating normal portions and being active, resulting in no holiday weight gain, with a little bit of enjoyment and fun mixed in! And well, most importantly, appreciating and enjoying time spent with my family. As I think it should be. I hope you all are having a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays as well!

  1. Jim Purdy, 26 December, 2011

    Low-carb … yum. love my low-carb vienna sausages. :)

    And I like your plans But what do you mean by “flattened” turkey breasts? Do they come from flat-chested turkeys?

  2. DivaonaDiet, 26 December, 2011

    ha ha ha! Well, I have to admit, I didn’t actually see how she prepared it. I just know it was like a bone-in turkey breast, that my dad had to pound and crack the middle of to lay flat!

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