Musings about fake sweeteners

January 6, 2019

So there is some debate in the keto community about fake sweeteners. Some really like using them, while some find that they still affect their insulin. Whether or not to use them is a personal choice. On my first round of low carb, I used them all the time, convinced that I *needed* something sweet with my coffee in the morning. While they prevented me from eating other sugar and I did lose weight, I wonder now if they really acted to keep my sugar addiction alive.

Reflecting back, I craved these fake sugars as if they were real sugar. This leads me to believe that the fake sugar did affect me as well. My husband made an excellent point about these fake sugars and fat bombs that I rely on — just eat real food if you’re hungry.

What a concept, right? Eat real food when you’re hungry. So that’s my plan. Today is the last day of all sugar crutches. I know I keep saying it’s the last day of whatever, but I’ve fallen off about the real sugar issue. I keep thinking of this famous pic –

This pic is so true when it comes to many different things in life, but it’s important to not give up. I know that I gave birth not long ago, but it’s not too soon to start working on myself again. With limited workout time and an awesome husband doing meal prep, I can start with food! And he makes some delicious food!

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New Year’s Eve Setback

January 2, 2019

When you’re detoxing off of sugar, really the only way to do it is cold turkey. We still had sugary treats in the house and while you debate throwing them away, it’s much easier said than done. I avoided them for a few days, but gave in yesterday to some chocolate, along with some champagne.

With the holidays now being over and the sugar (almost) being gone, it’s time to get serious!

I’m also craving working out, but it’s only been 3 wks since I gave birth, so that is probably too soon. I’ll wait until my postpartum appt next week, but I’m thinking of doing the new Bikini Body Mommy. We’ll see!

Fat bomb creation on the docket tomorrow and I’ll repost the recipe! It’s also my husband’s first day back at work. Here comes further craziness.

Sugar-free starts again tomorrow!

December 27, 2018

Well, the dirt cake is gone and it’s time to beat the sugar addiction again, but this time together with my husband! Breaking up with sugar..

I’m saying this now, but I’m excited and ready. I’ve had so much sugar lately, it’s not even as good anymore. We’ll see how my mood holds up without sugar highs and lows.

It’s time to fix this and get us both back on track. Now that the house is free of sugar, we’ll be able to avoid it easier.

I figure even if I’m craving it, I’m not about to venture out with a toddler and newborn in the winter just to get something with sugar in it in the moment. That’d be more of a pain than it’s worth. Plus, Hailey has been eating more sugar than I’d like also, so this’ll be good for all of us to not even have it in the house. I did it once. I can do it again. Let’s do this!

I’m back! Here’s to a new year!

December 22, 2018

Earlier this year, we were blessed with some great news -I was pregnant with our second child (who was born last week). Having PCOS, I was really surprised that we managed to get such a surprise without any fertility assistance this time. I now have two miracle babies!

I attribute the pregnancy to the fact that I had lost 40 pounds by completely cutting out refined sugar and adopting a low carb diet. Unfortunately, I was not able to keep that up between the food aversions and morning sickness. I gained it all back and again have the same 40 pounds to lose and same sugar addiction to kick.

With breastfeeding and finding a new balance with two children, I’m not expecting it to happen quickly and that’s okay. I know what works for me. Best part this time is that I won’t be going it alone! My husband is working on cleaning up his diet too.

Coming back to the blog will be recipe reviews, work out tips (once I’m cleared), random musings and at some point hopefully writing and movie blogs… we’ll see how that goes with TWO kids! Ha! For now and when the birthday dirt cake is gone (I’m only human after all), I’m focusing on kicking the sugar addiction again.

My plan is to make fat bombs as replacement because it worked last time. I have an obsession with having a treat with my coffee, so I need something to stand in for the sugar in order to be successful. Let’s start this journey again! Ha

The MGM Musical Magic Blogathon – High Society

May 18, 2018

HIGH SOCIETY [US 1956]

Mike Connor: [on telephone] This is the voice of doom.

Mrs. Seth Lord: What?

Mike Connor: This is to tell you your days are numbered.

[hangs up]

Mrs. Seth Lord: Oh dear. One of the servants has been at the sherry again.

When I found out that there was an MGM Musical Magic Blogathon, hosted by Hometowns to Hollywood, I knew I had to participate and write about my all-time favorite movie, High Society. I generally make a habit of posting about different classic movies and I surprised myself by realizing I had not yet written about this gem! Sorry about the blog hiatus here, but I hadn’t been feeling very well lately. Thankfully, I’m doing much better now!

Synopsis:

This is essentially the musical remake of The Philadelphia Story. While I know there will be those that disagree with me, I love High Society so much more, but I’m a sucker for both Sinatra and musicals.

A rich heiress is about to marry for the second time, but her ex-husband and an attractive writer lead her to question the match.

The Players:

Frank Sinatra

Frank plays the writer sent to cover the upcoming nuptials, but finds himself attracted to the bride-to-be. What girl would not be distracted by him singing, “Mind if I Make Love to You”? Swooooon…

Grace Kelly

This is Grace’s last film before becoming the Princess of Monaco. I feel like that’s a shame. She is totally in her prime here and gives a great performance. Check out the rock on her hand-her engagement ring. This is actually her ring from the Prince and the diamond is a staggering 10.5 carats.

Her part was originally going to go to Elizabeth Taylor. Now, that would have been an entirely different movie. It seems like a weird fit having seen how great Grace is in this part.

Bing Crosby

Bing is so enjoyable to watch in this film. His character is really fun and you want to root for him to get the girl back.

I know I already posted Frank above {and he’s going to be in yet another clip below}, but Frank and Bing? I had to… I actually saw this scene in That’s Entertainment (I think the first one, but I’m not positive) and fell in love with it before I even saw the movie. It’s the best scene in the whole movie. I love it so much. I always think about how Bing was Frank’s idol when he was young and how cool this must have been for him.

Celeste Holm

I think Celeste Holm is definitely an underrated actress. I find her hilarious in both this and The Tender Trap. Great duet with Frank below.

Louis Armstrong

One of, if not the, best jazz musician to have ever lived is a supporting player in this movie as one of the jazz musicians in town.

Why You Should Check it out or Rewatch it:

Do you really need more reasons? Besides the stellar cast and songs, it’s a funny movie with a cute story. Enjoy!

Happy Easter! Movies to watch this weekend! (Repost)

March 29, 2018

Need some Easer-themed movies to watch this weekend? Of course you do! Here is the best one!

Easter Parade!

Synopsis:
Don Hewes loses his long-time dancing partner and lady love to another show which prompts him to proclaim that he can teach any girl to dance! Influenced by booze, he invites a dancer in a local club to rehearse with him the next day and be his new partner. He learns the next day that she doesn’t even know her left foot from her right foot. He has his work cut out for him!

The Players:
Judy Garland-Judy is in fine form in this movie. I feel it’s one of her best. It has a great story and she gets to show off her comedic talents. See her marvelous fish face below..

Fred Astaire-Fred came out of retirement to do this film after Gene Kelly, who was originally set to star, injured himself playing volleyball. He still looks great!

Peter Lawford– I love the underrated Peter Lawford. He was handsome, and while his singing won no prizes, I quite enjoy his voice. He tries! See if you can pick out the change in Judy’s feather atop her hat. At one point the dye ran all over her face so they had to slick it up with vaseline.

Ann Miller-What can you say about Ann Miller.. best to showcase it below. I feel like she is the female equivalent to Gene Kelly. Powerful, strong dance steps. Shake your blues away, honey!

Why you should check it out!
This movie showcases some great performers and performances, it’s a sweet love story and it’s funny. Plus there’s an Easter theme running though it. I know I’ll watch it this weekend!

Keto Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins Review

March 27, 2018

So, I need to have something with my morning coffee and I’d rather have it be keto-friendly instead of resorting to real sugar. This week I made these peanut butter chocolate chip muffins again from Tasteaholics. This is actually my second attempt at these and they were much better this time. I attribute this to the fact that I actually had Lily’s baking chocolate chips on hand instead of trying to cut up a dark chocolate bar, which is what I did last time. Using chocolate chips is much easier because they distribute through the batter. This made for a much tastier muffin! I really like them this go-around and will definitely make them again.

I also figured out the issue with getting highly inflated carb counts when calculating recipes myself. I was forgetting to subtract the carbs from the erythritol. These sugar alcohols don’t spike insulin response, so they are usually taken out when figuring out macros for recipes in keto.

20180326_074439

This recipe makes 6 muffins.

Ingredients:

1 cup of almond flour

1/2 cup erythritol

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup peanut butter {I use Old Home because it does not have added sugar}

1/3 cup almond milk {I use unsweetened original Almond Breeze}

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar-free chocolate chips {As mentioned above I use Lily’s, which is sweetened with Stevia}

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
  3. Mix in peanut butter and almond milk.
  4. Stir in one egg at a time into batter.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips
  6. The recipe calls for spraying a muffin tin and putting the batter in directly, but I just used cups instead. The batter did stick slightly, but it wasn’t bad. I may adjust this next time.
  7. Bake for 20-30 min. Mine ended up going 25 and that was enough.
  8. Let them to cool and then eat them! Nom! Enjoy!

Nutrition:

Fat: 18.8g

Net carbs: 4.3 g {now that’s more like it! ha}

Calories: 224

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I certainly needed one of these and my coffee this morning after my toddler was up for over 2 hours early this morning wanting to play! Ha.

Keto Mini Cheesecake Recipe Review

March 21, 2018

So I’m a huge fan of cheesecake, or at least I used to be before I starting having issues with dairy. When I saw this simple recipe from Tasteaholics, I had to try it. I did have a few issues with the recipe, as noted below, but overall, the recipe was a success and satisfies the cheesecake craving!

One of the issues I had was that the recipe was made for 8 servings and I have a 6 serving muffin tin. The recipe does not scale down easily as the 8 serving recipe calls for 1 egg and 8 oz of cream cheese. Because of this, I just pushed forward with the 8 serving and thought the cups may just be more full. This caused or contributed to a couple issues. I had a hard time getting the bottom crust to bake, so now it’s a bit crumblier than I would like because it didn’t bake long enough. I also had a harder time judging when the cheesecake portion was baked since the cups were a little fuller.
Ingredients:

For the crust:

1/2 cup almond flour

2 tbs butter {I used Earth Balance to make this dairy-free}

For the cheesecake:

8 oz of cream cheese {I used Daiya for dairy-free}

1 egg

1/2 tsp of vanilla

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1 pinch of salt

1/4 cup erythritol

Instructions:

  1. Let cream cheese come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Mix melted butter with almond flour until crumbly.
  4. Press dough into muffin pan. I lined mine with muffin liners.
  5. Bake crust. The recipe called for 5 min. I ended up baking mine for about 9 before I decided to pull them. They looked like this, but I think I should have baked them a little longer to get the slighly brown color that this recipe called for. I ran out of patience and thought maybe they would bake more when in the oven with the cheesecake on top.20180320_154017
  6. Beat cream cheese with a mixer until creamy then add in the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Instead of the strawberries at the end like the recipe, I mixed in Lily’s chocolate chips. 20180320_153916
  7. Fill muffin tins and bake at 350. The recipe called for 15 min, but I ended up letting mine go for about 21 minutes because they were still gooey. They should be slightly jiggly when they’re done.
  8. Cool for at least 24 hours in the fridge. I couldn’t wait and tried them at about 15 hours. The bottom isn’t as done as I would like, but they are still tasty. I will definitely make these again, but probably tweak the proportions or bake times even further. 20180320_160852

Nutrition info {minus chocolate chips}

6.1 net carbs- corrected

1 g fiber

18.5 g fat

0.4 g sugar

4.3 g protein

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Edition-Darby O’Gill and the Little People! {Repost}

March 16, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend and I thought I’d share again my favorite movie for the occasion!

March of 1960 brought us the best movie to watch for St. Patrick’s Day-Darby O’Gill and the Little People. This was a favorite of mine since I was a child. Combine a super young and foxy Sean Connery with Leprechauns and you have a great movie for the season! Watch it tonight in place of, or while, drinking!

Synopsis:
Darby O’Gill is “getting on” or getting old. Because of this he is going to lose his job as the caretaker of Lord Fitzpatrick’s estate. In order to preserve his job, and just settle an old score, Darby takes on King Brian of the Leprechauns. Despite challenging each other, they seem to get along quite well. Darby wants his wish to be for what his daughter wants. They then try to make a romantic match in Darby’s daughter and the younger man sent to take his job.
The Players:

Albert Sharpe– Albert plays Darby and his facial expressions as well as thrown in Gaelic phrases are guaranteed to amuse you.

Sean Connery– Who doesn’t want to see the soon-to-be 007 star sing? Well, here he does! {though he didn’t appreciate it!} We also have this movie to thank for him being cast as James Bond {as well as his impeding stardom}. Sean gained Albert Broccoli’s attention by being this role.. which then led him to casting him as 007. Sean is the only star from this movie who is still around. I found that surprising until I found out Janet Munro’s fate.. see below

Janet Munro– I think Janet does a great job as Katie. I was sad to find out she died at only 38 from a heart condition. She made 3 other pictures for Disney before deciding to venture into more mature roles. Those were poorly received by audiences.

Jimmy O’Dea– The King of the Leprechauns! This was by far his best known role, though he was also a favorite Irish comedian.

 

Why You Should Check it Out:
This is a great, fun movie. The special effects were stellar, not only by 1960’s standards, but seamless by any decade’s standards {with the exception of when Darby picks up doll King Brian}. Plus, the banshee is still terrifying and Sean Connery is always a pleasure to watch!

Book Review- 11.22.63 by Stephen King

March 14, 2018

 

I’ve always been intrigued by the JFK assassination because of the uncertainty surrounding the crime. There are so many things that don’t add up, which makes it a very interesting mystery. Because of this interest, I was really excited to find the Stephen King had written 11.22.63, which is basically a time travel book connected to this event. After waiting on t he hold list for months for the digital library, I finally got it! I absolutely tore through the 880 page (1100 Kindle page) monster.

The last few books I started, I ended up abandoning because they didn’t hook my interest, this one hooked it immediately and it was a nice change of pace. It revolves around a portal into the past that resets each time you enter it, so if you changed something that had negative consequences, you can theoredically go back again and fix it. As with most time travel stories, there are always negative consequences. You don’t know how your actions, no matter it being positive in the moment, will change the future. Upon the request of his dying friend, Jake Epping goes back to save JFK from being killed. One of the catches is that he has to wait for over 4 years in the past because the portal open opens up into 1958. You can change a lot and cause many problems in 4 years.

Another interesting thing about this book is that the past is basically an additional character. The past does not want to be changed and presents opposition to Jake in proportion to the importance of what he’s trying to change. He encounters very strong opposition as the assassination date finally approaches.

While it took many pages to get to the assassination {which I knew was coming given the length of the novel}, I enjoyed the ride. The desire to get there pushed me to keep reading I loved this book and the ending was kind of perfect. King is a great storyteller and while I’m not a fan of horror, I will seek out more of his thrillers. Reading this also made me want to watch some JFK documentaries.

After finishing the book, I did watch the Hulu miniseries based on it, starring James Franco as Jake.

*************SPOILERS BELOW***************************

There were some key changes that they made in the Hulu series versus the book. For one thing, in the book Jake uses the name George Amberson as an alias. In the series, he keeps the first name Jake. This seems like an unnecessary change, but maybe it was done for simplicity. They also gave him a different ally in the past for a while. I think this was done in order for Jake to have someone to talk to about the his plan and what he learns. In the book, this information can be done through narrative. While when it initially began, I didn’t really like this alliance, as it went on, I understood why it was done.

They also diminished the role of the yellow card man. In the series, he is just another traveler to the past. In the book, it’s much more complicated than that. There’s much more to him than you get from the series.

Something else I really didn’t care for in the series was that I feel like they really downplayed Sadie’s role. She’s not as strong of an influence and driving force in helping Jake prevent the assassination as she is in the book. Jake gets to be the strongest character, while in the book, I don’t think this is the case. I think James Franco gets the big fight because he is the celebrity. I felt that didn’t give Sadie’s character the credit she deserves.

The series itself is interesting, but is just lacking some of the elements from the book. I feel that this usually happens due to the constraints of time as well as film as a medium. The music is fun from that era though and the series is interesting on its own, but I prefer the book.