Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, cooking, make-up, travel, the joy of home ownership and the occasional rant!

No substitutes

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I’ve given up on the idea of finding substitutes for carbs. I’m adapting to not having things like bread, pizza, potato chips, tacos, rice, corn, peas, pasta, mashed potatoes, Cheetos, breakfast cereal, oatmeal, cookies, crackers, grains, pancakes, fries, croutons, couscous, popcorn, pie, cake, wonton soup, pad thai, almond chicken, california rolls, french toast, grilled cheese sandwiches … sigh…

The first couple months after I stopped eating carbs I actively looked for and experimented with using alternatives – trying recipes using coconut flour or almond flour, etc.  Other than one that was sort of okay (but in no way did it resemble an “English muffin” but it did make adequate very very thin toast that had to be loaded with cream cheese to actually be tasty) they were all really awful.

The effort was not worth the results so I just altered my mindset – instead of trying to find something to replace those foods, I’ve just accepted I no longer can eat them.

I get a lot of suggestions from friends, recommending something I should try.  But gluten free, unfortunately, is not carb free.  Rice has no gluten but is all carbs. And while there are grains that are lower in carbs, like rye, I still spike after eating them.

The ingredients are really expensive for the “replacement” recipes.  I now have a collection of “flours” to try to figure out what to do with.  The almond flour works for dredging and coating things at least – makes a very good coating on pork chops!

I gave up all sugar too – any sugar.  So that’s white, brown, cane, honey, maple syrup, molasses, corn syrup,  or using dates as a substitute in baking. That wasn’t hard for me.  I did like sweets but I didn’t have a real sweet tooth.  I did try Stevia in a baking experiment – yuck.  I don’t like artificial sweeteners, never have, so don’t use them at all.

I don’t eat much fruit now, due to the natural sugars.  They spike my blood sugar too much.  I can manage a few things in very limited quantities – like unsweetened frozen strawberries (which I mix with plain yoghurt) and unsweetened apple sauce.  And an occasional shot of no sugar added cranberry juice doesn’t seem to hurt.

My current way of eating almost fits the definition of a Paleo Diet or LCHF (Low Carb High Fat).  I have NOT given up dairy because life would not be worth living without cheese.

Add all that to my allergy to beef (which has put me in the hospital a couple of times) and an inability to digest cellulose (which is put in pretty much all pre-shredded cheese) – it means no more eating out.  It isn’t worth the hassle of being THAT customer at a restaurant – you know, the one who wants to substitute half the ingredients in everything?

I’m doing a lot of playing around with herbs and spices – I’ve actually started adding heat in spice form which I was never into before (some were known to call me a wimp.)  Trying new spices that I’ve not used before and being a lot heavier handed with them too.

Every meal has vegetables, including breakfast – celery is my new best friend, and my main snack food is nuts. My weekly shopping consists of fresh vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk, cream, and plain yoghurt.

I am looking forward to summer with fresh local vegetables.  I’ve signed up again for a share in our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with Summer’s Gold.  Weekly deliveries from a local farm for three months (July through September).  And this year they have added a locally raised and produced meat share too!  I’ve been buying into the program for five years now and highly recommend it to everyone.  These programs are all over so check your area to see if there is one near you – they vary depending on the producer.

 

It all seems to be working – In the last week and a half I’ve had eight normal readings on my blood sugar, and this morning, for the first time, my fasting sugar was in range!  I have got my readings down to half of what my A1C was in December, on average.

My goal is to get off the medication.  And as I am on the lowest dose that should be possible.  I see my doctor in a month for follow-up tests.

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2 thoughts on “No substitutes

  1. My hat is off to you! I’m supposed to limit carbs to 60/meal and 15/snack, and still can’t make mysel give up the carbs. I’m eating more salad than ever, but everything has carbs!!! I am also not having the cravings for candy and sweet drinks, but I still have something small a few times/week.

    Good luck as you continue on your

    Sent from my journey! I’m thinking you will be off the meds by the end of summer. 😊iPhone

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